For some 10,500 kids in East Tennessee, there's no guarantee from Friday's school lunch to Monday's school breakfast where their next meal will come from.
Second Harvest Food Bank calls it "food insecurity." 10News, B 97.5, and Second Harvest have teamed up again this year to help fill the weekend gap.
"Sometimes it's the child whose grandparents have found themselves taking care of the grand kids and they don't have enough income to do that," said Gail Root, Second Harvest's Program Director. "It's the kids whose parents have lost their jobs. It's the kids who are homeless living in cars and no one knows it."
The nonprofit makes it their mission, through their Food for Kids program, to see that those kids don't go hungry in between school meals. Eleven years ago, they started the Backpack Buddy Club 10 program when they heard teachers were purchasing food out of their pocket.
With donations, they are able to fill the backpacks each week full of food kids can make themselves. A typical backpack would include oatmeal, easy macaroni and cheese, canned beans with pop-top cans, and peanut butter among other non-perishable foods.
Teachers in 248 schools across 19 counties give the students in need backpacks discreetly each Friday during the school year.
"So they don't come to school just too hungry to even settle down and do what they need to do," she said.
The teachers also make note if the student has siblings that need weekend snacks.
Food for Kids also provides backpacks in the summer for 3,400 children, an increase of 1,000 from last year.
Through July 12th, you can donate each time you check out at an Kroger store. The cashier may prompt you or you can offer to pay yourself. You can give as little as a dollar at a time. One dollar provides three meals through Second Harvest.
You can donate anytime at www.secondharvesttn.org.