In a total of twelve locations around the area, the East Texas Food Bank launched its eight annual summer backpack food program Friday.
The program provides children from low-income families a supply of food that will last the weekend, and usually comes inside a backpack that's returned later.
The Our Lady of Sorrow Catholic Church hosts both the summer backpack program and the daily summer food program which provides children a free hot meal each day around lunch time. Volunteers there have committed to driving around the city five days a week, picking up the children who qualify for the program, taking them to the church to eat, and then taking them home.
The food bank's Karolyn Davis said the need is greater than many people imagine, especially for families who are used to relying on school districts' free and reduced-cost lunch programs.