News Source: 6abc

According to the USDA, 15.9 million children are food insecure in the United States.

That’s nearly 1 in 4 kids.

It’s a stunning statistic and one of the many reasons 6abc partners every year in the region’s largest food drive. 

Philabundance launched the KidsBites program in 2012 to provide school kids in disadvantaged communities with nutritious food that would help them thrive and grow. The program is doing that and more at Stetser Elementary in Chester.

“They have easy access to food that maybe they wouldn’t have necessarily had access to before. Staples that kids need to have a healthy active life,” Lindsay Hughes, Public Relations Manager for Philabundance, said. 

The program is free for families of students that attend Stetser. They can choose from fresh produce, fruits, cereal and more.

“We didn’t really have food, so when they started I told my mom and she came over and now we have food,” student Alycia Burks said. 

“It’s important that food is on the table for kids so they can learn better and get higher grades,” Dechanta Womack of Chester, Pa. said. 

The program is not only inspiring healthier eating, it’s become part of the students’ curriculum. 

“The gardens are designed to give children an opportunity to grow fresh food, to harvest it, to learn about planting food,” Janet Baldwin of Stetser said. 

What the kids grow, they can then take home to eat.

“When you get dirty, your parents don’t get mad at you because they know you were planting and when you plant, you get dirty,” student Syni Reese said. 

75% percent of the families from Stetser Elementary participate in the bi-weekly distribution, a sure sign that the program is working. 

If you’d like to help families in need this holiday season, click here.

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