Studies show that nationwide, as many as 17 million children go hungry nearly everyday. That includes children here in our area too. WDBJ7 New River Valley reporter Orlando Salinas tells us about strangers, who are helping out, anonymously.
Members of the Christiansburg Rotary Club are hoisting bottled water and packing snacks, fruit cups and easy meals in grey Walmart bags. Not for troops overseas, but for hungry school kids right here in the New River Valley. Sam Miller is leading this group of Rotarians, "Each backpack is for one child and one weekend. So there's two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and two snacks and their water and milk for those days as well."
The bags are headed to Falling Branch Elementary School in Christiansburg. School counselor Laura Poff says nearly 50 children are part of the "Snack Pack" program that began 5 years ago, just ss the economy began faltering, "Teachers and staff here at Falling Branch noticed some kids were talking about being hungry and not having snacks on the weekend."
Poff and other staff, take the food and stuff it inside the kids backpacks while they're not in class. No one else knows, except these hungry kids who won't be embarrassed.
"I want to respect their privacy', says Poff, 'especially the older grades so I just go in and slip the snack packs into the backpacks and that's it."