LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Its a staggering number: 1,100 Longview ISD elementary students go hungry everyday.
"We have that many kids in our district who leave school on Friday afternoon...[and] may not eat again until Monday morning when they come in for breakfast," said Brian Bowman, Public information Officer for LISD.
The district is hoping to change all that, through a $160,000 grant they received to fund their Lobo Back Pack Meal Program. Last year, LISD started the program at one elementary and saw drastic changes.
"Increased attendance rate, increased test scores and a decrease in a discipline referrals and so that proves that whenever a student is able to eat food on the weekends, they're going to become more productive citizens," said Bowman.
Instead of just eating at school Monday through Friday, students will be given back packs loaded with food to eat over the weekend.
"Dr. Wilcox had a vision of implementing this district wide to every elementary school and possibly our secondary campuses as well," said Bowman.
Throughout the school year, the district says they've seen the desperate need for help from students willing to take drastic measures just to eat.
"Students coming to school in the mornings stealing another child's breakfast, a student digging in the trash can after school looking for food and that happens at several campuses," said Bowman. "It's not just about educating the kid. It's about the community coming together and helping these kids out."
LISD says the Back Pack Meal Program will be at all their elementary campuses by next month. They also say they plan to send food home with needy students during holiday breaks.