Food For Kids program helps 10,000 East Tennessee kids

Food For Kids program helps 10,000 East Tennessee kids

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Patricia Gray is a foster grandparent at Spring Hill Elementary. She helps fill the bags. Patricia Gray is a foster grandparent at Spring Hill Elementary. She helps fill the bags.
Thousands of kids in East Tennessee take home a bag of food each Friday for the weekend as part of the Second Harvest Food For Kids program. Thousands of kids in East Tennessee take home a bag of food each Friday for the weekend as part of the Second Harvest Food For Kids program.
"During the long breaks, there's even more times when there's food insecurity in the home because the children are not coming to school for breakfast, lunch and their snacks and after school programs," Christi Kirk said. "During the long breaks, there's even more times when there's food insecurity in the home because the children are not coming to school for breakfast, lunch and their snacks and after school programs," Christi Kirk said.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Thousands of kids in East Tennessee take home a bag of food each Friday for the weekend as part of the Second Harvest Food For Kids program.

Patricia Gray is a foster grandparent at Spring Hill Elementary. She helps fill the bags.

"Second Harvest brings the food to us, and then we pack the bags," Gray said.

Christi Kirk, a coordinator with Project Grad, says about 20 bags are filled at Spring Hill every week.

"We identify those children through our cafeteria. Kids that are wanting extra food, or always asking for seconds, or their parents have actually come to us and said we are in need of food. So we put them on the list, our foster grandparents pack the bags, and we distribute them every Friday with fifth graders," Kirk said. 

Without this program, Kirk says some of the kids wouldn't get enough to eat during the weekends.

"During the long breaks, there's even more times when there's food insecurity in the home because the children are not coming to school for breakfast, lunch and their snacks and after school programs," Kirk said.

Sam Compton, the youth programs manager for Second Harvest, says Food For Kids can feed one child each week for $60 a year.

"The need for Food For Kids has been steadily increasing since we started. From a pilot program in 2003 in Scott County, we've grown to serving more than 10,000 kids every week," Compton said.

Kirk says her favorite part about helping the students is the hugs they give.

"The kids are always so appreciative in elementary. They're so engaging and so appreciative of everything you do for them," Kirk said.


Click here to learn how to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank as part of "Double Your Donation" Day.

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