NewsWest 9 Midland/Odessa- Hundreds of ECISD kids going hungry on weekends
NewsWest 9 Midland/Odessa- Hundreds of ECISD kids going hungry on weekends October 3, 2011
By Geena Martinez
ODESSA - It's a sad truth many of you may not know about. Hundreds of kids going hungry every weekend in Ector County but one local organization is trying to change that.
The weekend is supposed to be a time for kids to relax and have fun but that's not always the case in Ector County.
"It pulls at my heart strings to know these kids go from Friday lunch to Monday morning breakfast without food," School Coordinator, Lynn Whisenhunt, said.
But it's a reality hundreds of children face and it affects them even when they're not at home.
"A lot of it's the economics, single parents, disabled parents," Whisenhunt said. "Students can't learn when they're hungry."
But thanks to the Junior League of Odessa and the West Texas Food Bank, hope comes to these kids in the form of a brown bag.
"Milk, lasagna, cereal," Jillian Boggs, with the Junior League of Odessa, said. "Stuff that they can either fix or heat up on their own so if mom and dad aren't there they can still have something to eat."
Right now, the two organizations are feeding more than 500 kids at five different elementary schools.
That number used to be as high as 1,100. They plan to add three to four more schools over the next year. Volunteers say it's bittersweet.
"There's 26 elementary schools in ECISD, so we're barely a drop in the bucket," Boggs said. "It feels good but it's still a little scary knowing that we have such a long way to go."
It may seem small to them but for the parents and children, they couldn't be more grateful.
"It's hard to sometimes admit that you don't have the ability to feed your kids," Boggs said.
"They're very thankful and appreciative of it and they can't ever wait to see what's in their sack lunch on Friday," Whisenhunt said.
The Junior League said they hope to eventually reach middle and high school students.
If you'd like to help you can contact the Junior League of Odessa at (432) 332-0095.
They'll be bagging these meals on Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. at the Food Bank warehouse located at 200 Lincoln St. in Odessa.