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Kids wait all week for Friday’s BackSnack

Sue Bain of Lenexa place a BackSnack into a plastic bag as she and other volunteers sorted out Harvesters' BackSnack meals at the Hands to Heart warehouse on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Overland Park, Kansas. Hands to Hearts started with a few people who wanted to help local hungry kids. In five years they've grown to become a community partner for 21 schools packing weekend food for nearly 1,500 each week.
Sue Bain of Lenexa place a BackSnack into a plastic bag as she and other volunteers sorted out Harvesters' BackSnack meals at the Hands to Heart warehouse on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Overland Park, Kansas. Hands to Hearts started with a few people who wanted to help local hungry kids. In five years they've grown to become a community partner for 21 schools packing weekend food for nearly 1,500 each week. Kansas City Star

The teachers at Oak Grove Primary School could tell the little boy couldn’t wait.

Throughout the week, he would ask the same question over and over.

“Is it Friday? Is it Friday yet?”

Not because he couldn’t wait for the weekend. No, the time off wasn’t the big deal.

For the Jackson County boy, it was all about his BackSnack.

“He was so excited to get the food,” said school counselor Shari Hull. “And have it for his family.”

Schools across the area have been seeing more families in need.

Unfortunately, educators say, it’s often the kids who suffer.

That’s why they see Harvesters’ BackSnacks, which go home each Friday with 23 children at Oak Grove Primary, as so vital.

For the fourth year, The Star is partnering with Harvesters on a virtual food drive to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. Over the first three years, the drive raised almost $700,000.

All the money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children with two breakfasts, two other meals and other snacks each Friday during the school year to tide them over until they go back to school Monday.

The packs of food give the children peace of mind.

“They don’t have to worry about food over the weekend,” Hull said. “It lessens their worry. It’s helping their bodies grow.

“And I feel like they feel special.”

Especially the little boy who can’t wait for Fridays to come around.

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