“I can’t imagine a child going hungry in this beautiful country,” says Susan Pignaro, Food 4 Kids Coordinator at Hotchkiss Elementary School in Dallas. “It shouldn’t be happening with all that we have.”
Susan has made it her mission to ensure that children at Hotchkiss Elementary don’t have to go hungry. Since March 2008, she’s been sending home backpacks of nutritious food with 65 hungry children through the North Texas Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids program. Hotchkiss serves a large percentage of immigrant and refugee children from all over the world, many of whom arrive in Dallas malnourished. Almost all of the students are on the free and reduced-price lunch program. “This helps them a lot,” says Susan. “It has been phenomenal for our school.”
Susan says the Food 4 Kids program has made a huge difference in the health and well-being of her students. She shares the story of two young girls who recently moved to Dallas from Myanmar. They were so thin and malnourished when they first came to Hotchkiss that they had to use string to keep their clothes from falling down. But they’re happier and healthier now that they’re receiving backpacks of nutritious weekend food – their clothes finally fit and their behavior has improved.
“It’s just a great thing,” says Susan. “The kids feel really good about themselves.”
Learn more on how you can impact hunger at ntfb.org