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Helping Hungry Students


About 12-million children — roughly one in six kids in the U.S. — live in households that are classified as "food insecure." That means there's not always enough food to go around for a healthy, active life. But thanks to a program that offers "snack sacks," some school kids don't have to go home hungry. Reed Galin reports.

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(Locator: Fort Worth, Texas)

There's a bounty of food in school cafeterias. But that's not always the case when kids go home.

Ronnie Crowley/Snack Sacks Founder: "Imagine as a child to go home every night after school and you're not going to eat until you get breakfast the next morning. Well, then you have the weekend and that's an even bigger stretch."

Members of Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Fort Worth don't want students to go hungry, so they prepare "snack sacks" to send home every weekend.

Lane Poole/School Counselor: "If children are hungry, they can't learn very well. And if they're thinking about their stomach growling, they don't do very well in school at all."

Ronnie Crowley/Snack Sacks Founder: "We wanted it to be child-friendly food, something that if a child was home alone, they could prepare."

Volunteers packing food: "Fruit loops." "We have juice, pudding, fruit, and sausage."

Teachers pick the students who need them and counselors hand out the snacks. The snack sacks are light enough so they can be easily carried in backpacks.

Lane Poole/School Counselor: "And a lot of them have siblings that are not in school yet, maybe two or three years old. And we give them a snack pack for their little brothers and sisters."

The program started in 2004. The church delivers 60 snack sacks every week to three elementary and middle schools.

Holley Williams/Arborlawn United Methodist Church: "One little girl wrote that she was moving out of town, and she said, 'Is there any way you can still bring me snack sacks?'"

And those who pack the snacks hope they're doing more than putting food on the table.

Ronnie Crowley/Snack Sacks Founder: "If we can make that small difference, make that child loved in that small way, then maybe that will help them in the future."

Arborlawn United Methodist has put together some tips on how to start a snack sacks program in your area. See the church's website for contact information or call 817-731-0701.

This story was first published on November 14, 2007. Since then, the snack packs program has grown beyond Arborlawn to other churches in the Fort Worth area with help from Arborlawn United Methodist Church.