Hundreds of Kansas City families in need get a week's worth of groceries

KC families in need get groceries & essentials
KC families in need get groceries & essentials
Posted at 1:02 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 14:02:19-04

Imagine trying to concentrate in school when all you can think about is where your next meal is coming from.

That's the reality for about 22 percent of people in Kansas City sitting at the poverty line.

During the school year, 21 million American children qualify for free or low-cost school meals from school lunch programs. 

At Kansas City public schools, all students receive free breakfast and lunch without qualifying. 

But, when school is out children do not have the school cafeteria to rely on.

On Tuesday, Feed the Children, Operation Breakthrough, KC public schools and Frito Lay are making strides to bridge that gap.

"I hope they feel that somebody came out to help support... that somebody came out to do what we can to make our community a better place," said Nick Ebert, Frito Lay sales manager.

The collaborative effort is expected to feed 800 families, distributing food outside of the Central Academy of Excellence, a public school where 100 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

Operation Breakthrough selected qualifying families that will go home with more than 40 pounds of food and essentials. 

Educators say food plays a huge part in a student's performance.

"When hunger strikes, that's real. When you think about all the people out here who are hungry, how can they be productive citizens in our community?" asked Anthony Madry, principal of Central Academy of Excellence.

Here's a breakdown of the items the families took home:

  • 25-lb. box of food
  • 15-lb. box of essentials
  • Box of Avon products
  • Box of Pepsi and Frito-Lay products

"It's extremely important that these families are getting fed. Being able to see what I've seen, going across the U.S. in these different programs, it's unbelievable where the poverty line is," said Aaron Hazel, with Feed the Children. 

Volunteers will pass out food until 2 p.m.