LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County kids are more likely going hungry right now compared to during the school year. At least that's what people who work with the needy believe.
The folks at Lufkin's Christian Information and Service Center are doing what they can to supplement families' weekly food ration, but it might not be enough.
"It just helps them feed their children because the mothers are coming in a panic," said Linda Smelley, CISC Executive Director.
Grocery shopping is hitting wallets hard - price hikes on almost every kind of food makes feeding your family a lot harder.
That's why so many in the area depend on the Christian Information and Service Center.
"Right now I'm up here at the food bank trying to get more food," said Dana Burleson, mother or 4.
During the school year, Smelley says parents get a reprieve during the week.
"70 percent of the kids in Lufkin and Angelina County are eating free breakfast and free lunches and some of them take snacks home for dinner," Smelley said.
It's a different story during the summer, many kids just aren't getting enough to eat.
"I wish we could weigh them when they leave school in May and weigh them when they start school. I know it would be a significant difference," Smelley said.
Burleson struggles to keep her children's bellies full.
"It's a little less when they're in school, but when summer comes, they eat up the house," Burleson said.
To meet the increased need, CISC has added extra stations that increase the weekly food rations for these needy families so they can keep their kids fed this summer.
"We have five baskets out and they can take two from each basket," said Smelley.
Last year they handed out 50-pound boxes of food to families-- A boost from the federal government.
"The mothers said it saved their summer. Government didn't do that this year," said Smelley.
So, this summer, the extras each week will have to do.
"This is a blessing from God. If it weren't for this food bank, I don't know what I'd do because my kids wouldn't be able to eat," said Burleson.
Smelley says another concern besides hunger is thirst, especially with kids playing outside in this kind of heat.