The Newton Taco Bell restaurant is teaming up with the Kansas Food Bank’s Food-4-Kid’s Program to help chronically hungry children.


The Newton Taco Bell restaurant is teaming up with the Kansas Food Bank’s Food-4-Kid’s Program to help chronically hungry children.
Every Friday during the school year, the Kansas Food Bank provides backpacks of food for children who don’t get enough to eat at home on the weekends. Now through Aug. 5, Taco Bell restaurants are asking customers to donate $1 to become a “Child Hunger Hero” and help fill backpacks for these children for the 2012 to 2013 school year.
“In Newton, there are 167 children who rely upon the Food 4 Kids backpack every weekend. All of the money we raise locally will go to support food for these kids,” Taco Bell General Manager Tricia Garcia said in a news release.
If a child does not get enough food outside of school, he or she is considered food insecure.  Kansas has more than 158,000 food insecure children. For children who participate in the program come notable differences: grades improve, behavioral problems diminish, attendance at school is better — truancy dissolves, students are ready and prepared to learn on Monday mornings, and overall attitude toward school improves.
These are students who before receiving the backpack of weekend food were children who were often the most at risk.  They came to school hungry, and their focus at the start of the week was “when is lunch.” Receiving the backpack of food helped them to be able to concentrate on class, improve their learning skills and propel their education forward.   
Each backpack contains food the kids can just open and eat. For example, there may be peanut butter, pudding cups, fruit cups, cereal, beef jerky, raisins, milk and a juice box in the backpack. Each food bag costs roughly $4 to make and lasts the child for the weekend.  
If you would like to help chronically hungry children in Newton, go to Taco Bell to donate now through Aug. 5 and become a “Child Hunger Hero.”