SPOKANE, Wash. -

Almost half of the students in Spokane Public Schools qualify for free or reduced lunches. That allows students to fill up at school, but what about when they go home? Second Harvest and Umpqua Bank are teaming up to make sure no matter where a student is they won't go hungry.

Proper nutrition is critical to our survival. It's an obvious statement, but many take eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for granted.

Lidgerwood Elementary School Principal Steve Barnes has worked at low income schools for years.

Over 80 percent of students at Lidgerwood Elementary are on free or reduced lunches.

Kids have to have proper a breakfast, lunch, and dinner in order to excel and to do well in school. But come 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon, when students head out the door, many times their meals for the next two days are not promised.

Umpqua Bank and Second Harvest are working to assure “that these families and their children will know that they'll be able to have a meal on the table for each member everyday,” said
Melissa Cloninger of Second Harvest.

Every other week Second Harvest brings in about 1,500 lbs. of food for 75 Lidgerwood families.

“This distribution is a result of a new program that we call 'Second Harvest at Spokane Schools,'” said Cloninger.

For now the program is only at Lidgerwood, but will expand to two more schools by the end of the year.

“This type of support for families is critical to help them make it through the next week, the next month, the next pay check,” said Barnes.

All the food is high in nutrition. From fresh fruits and vegetables to other foods that are high in protein.
Principal Barnes says though the program is still in the early stages, parents are grateful for the extra support.

“They're coming through and it's really jovial, it's happy, it's jolly... they're excited to come through,” Barnes said. “They appreciate the opportunity to collect food and help their families.”

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