Education Matters: Fighting Hunger in Kids

Published 08/11 2014 06:32PM

Updated 08/11 2014 06:37PM

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Dovie Baxter, school nurse at Sidney Deener Elementary in Searcy says the best part about the first day at school,

"Just seeing the kids especially the kindergartners in the beginning and it's all just a new experience."

But what she doesn't like to see, kids who come to her office because they're not feeling well not due to an illness, but due to hunger.

"That's exactly right and children often do come to the nurse during the day because they've missed breakfast or it's Monday morning and they've not eaten well over the weekend, so in the nurses office we also provide snacks," says Baxter.

It's a provision made possible by the Arkansas Rice Depot.

"It's important for us as kids get back to school they have a resource within their school, because when kids go hungry, they're not able to be learning the way that they should," says Sadie Smith.

It's another reason why the backpack program is so important to families as well, at the end of the day on Friday students who qualify take home a back pack filled with nutritious food with enough for siblings.

"We know right now we're serving about 35,000 kids around the state and about 650 schools, that's one in four kids in our state that's facing this need," says Smith.

A necessity Dovie Baxter wishes wasn't there but thanks the Rice Depot.

"It's a tremendous help."

To not only students at Sidney Deener but all schools across central Arkansas.

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