Maria couldn’t hear what her teacher was saying about long division. The snarl of her empty stomach blocked out the lesson. She was hungry. With her mom working double shifts and the monthly food stamps used up, the eight-year-old hadn’t eaten much more than soda-pop and French fries over the weekend. There was some leftover macaroni-and-cheese too, but the fridge was out and it had gone bad.

That was a year ago…Today, thanks to Camp Fire’s innovative Snack Pack program, Maria receives a backpack filled with nutritious and child-friendly meals every Friday. Cans of vegetables, dinner cups, breakfast cereal, juice and fresh fruit take her through the weekend. Now, Mary Clair can sit at her desk on Monday mornings and focus on something other than her gnawing belly.

Childhood hunger is real in our own community, but there is a solution and you can be part of it.

Camp Fire USA’s Snack Pack program ensures that children never go hungry through the weekend. Several years ago, teachers reported that many children were coming to class Monday mornings, hungry and fatigued. When school is out and the food pantry is closed, a lot of kids – in our hometown – go hungry. Camp Fire now offers children backpacks full of healthy, kid-friendly food each Friday afternoon because no child should go hungry, at home or in school. Often, this food is the only source of nutrition the children get during the weekend. Last year, more than 400 children in greater Omaha were served through Snack Pack…and the waiting list continues to grow.