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Food 4 Kids

…because the most essential school supply is food.

Helping hungry North Texas children

11:26 AM CST on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some of us are still eating Thanksgiving leftovers, but for many North Texans, food is hard to come by.

Many of our neighbors go hungry, particularly children.

The North Texas Food Bank is working to change that with a program they call "Food For Kids."

You might call Virginia Guzman a "food angel."

Every week, she and other volunteers pack backpacks full of food for low-income children at Reagan Elementary School in Dallas.

The backpacks look like the typical ones children carry to school. "Nobody knows what it is," Guzman explained. "They'll take it home, they'll bring it back on Monday or Tuesday."

The children take the backpacks home every weekend to ensure they will have something healthy to eat while they're not in school.

Guzman said the supplies include peanut butter cookies, animal crackers, juice, fruit and chocolate milk. "It's very healthy for the kids, and they enjoy it," she said.

The backpacks are part of the North Texas Food Bank's "Food 4 Kids" program, now helping 3,000 youngsters who might otherwise go hungry on weekends in 62 schools in 11 North Texas school districts.

"It makes me feel good that that they are getting something healthy, nutritious," Guzman said.

For one single parent of four who is who struggling to make ends meet, the backpacks are a welcome sight. She told News 8 she was grateful to receive the assistance.

"They'll come and hug me, and they will say, 'Thank you,'" Guzman said.

Officials with the North Texas Food Bank hope to double the Food 4 Kids program next year. The campaign is funded strictly by donations.