WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Food Bank reports seeing a greater need now than at peak times during the pandemic.

Families are being hit hard by increasing prices.

The Kansas Food Bank has a specific program honing in on hunger for our youngest community members.

“Hunger is a basic need, so everyone is hungry at different times,” said Jeff Hamilton, a social worker at Griffith Elementary.

Eliminating the fear of not having enough food over the weekend is what Jeff Hamilton has worked to do for the last 15 years.

“If you’re insecure about where that’s coming from, it creates anxiety, it creates uncertainty in your life,” said Hamilton.

Every Friday, Hamilton grabs the Food 4 Kids box and distributes food packs to students in need.

The response, “he came back and said ‘God, I really appreciate that food pack, do you think I could get one on Wednesday?’ So he’s trying to line up food sources throughout the week in addition to on the weekend,” said Hamilton.

“Grades improve, truancy improves, discipline problems improve,” said Bran Walker, president and CEO of the Kansas Food Bank.

“People don’t brag that they’re hungry, people don’t talk about, oh, I can’t put food on the table, but I’m telling you, it’s somebody you work with, it’s somebody on your kids soccer team, it’s somebody your child sits next to in school,” said Walker.

Basic items, combating a big need, providing nourishment, well past the weekend.

“If they want to impact kids functioning at school, this is an easy way to do that,” said Walker.

The Food 4 Kids program is available in 371 schools and 85 counties across Kansas.

Three ways to support the program:

  1. Donate, including earmarking funds for the food 4 kids program
  2. Hold a food drive
  3. Volunteer; including group volunteer opportunities

There are online resources for people in need of food on the Kansas Food Bank website.