JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The Northeast Arkansas Food Bank serves thousands of people across 12 counties. Many are children, and summer can be just as busy as the holidays considering many kids rely on school breakfast and lunch programs. The Food Bank does several food drives throughout year, but Saturday the Kans for Kids is specifically geared toward the backpack program helping to fill kids stomachs one can at a time.
"Nobody wants to think about a child going to bed hungry, but Arkansas is the third highest incidents of hunger in the country," says Northeast Arkansas Food Bank Director of Development Vicki Pillow.
But the Northeast Arkansas Food Bank is trying to change that, "We serve 51 hundred people a week in the 12 counties of Northeast Arkansas twenty-five percent of those are children under the age of 18," says Pillow.
Saturday individuals with the Leadership of Jonesboro were out collecting donations and food for the Kans for Kids Backpack Program currently serving 300 kids at the Nettleton, Forest City, and Tuckerman schools.
"When they go to school they get breakfast and lunch, but over the weekend they just don't have anything to eat. We send them home with a backpack it's full of food that is easy for them to prepare," says Philip Woodward with the Leadership of Jonesboro. Providing items like soups, crackers, and snack packs. The community and even kids stepped up to the plate.
"I am a parent, I am a mom, and I am a single mom," says Leadership of Jonesboro volunteer Loretta McGregor, who knows how difficult it can be for some parents. "You want to give them everything and the hardest thing I think for a parent is probably when they realize they can't provide enough food for their kids and so were here just to help," says McGregor.
Help to make this year even more successful than last year. "Last year we were able to add 50 kids to the program because of this food drive so it was so successful, and I know this year will be even bigger and better." says Pillow.
Volunteers were out collecting food today from 9a.m.- 3p.m. this afternoon. If you missed out, the food bank is always excepting donations just check out the website at www.foodbankofnea.org or call (807) 932-3663. The Backpack program is a sponsored program and for just $144.00 dollars you can provide a child with food for every weekend of the school year.