CREATED Mar. 28, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's breakfast time at the Boys and Girls Club and these little hands grab the cereal and milk. For some kids, it's the only meal they can depend on.
"In Clark County 54 percent of children are on a reduced priced or free lunch program," Rep. Dina Titus, (D) 1st District, said. "That shows you just how close they are to the edge of being hungry."
In order to feed Nevada's hungry kids, Titus wants to launch a new program called "Weekends Without Hunger" where children can take home food over the weekends and on holiday's like Spring Break.
"The teachers tell us heartbreaking stories," Brian Burton, Pres. Three Square Food Bank, said. "Kids digging in trash looking for food, telling them my mom doesn't work. One kid came and sold his toys at the school to try and get money for food."
It's those horror stories that have Three Square backing Titus' initiative. If her bill passes, the food bank would qualify for federal funding to send more meals home with kids. Right now, Three Square provides thousands of meals, but there's more to do.
"We see so many other programs being cut that serve this vulnerable community," Titus said. "We've got to be sure children have something to eat."
Expert studies have shown that when children are fed they learn and perform better in school.
"If we don't look after their ability to learn and to absorb and stay concentrated then we are doing a poor job," Rick Moonen, Chef/Owner RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, said. He's also backing Titus as a supporter of the food bank.
The congresswoman said she'll introduce her bill in the House and is hoping for bi-partisan support all the way to the President's desk.
If it passes, Titus said the program would give away about $2 million in federal grant money every year to help food pantry's across the country feed kids over the weekend and holidays.