CORRIGAN, TX (KTRE) - Every afternoon, the Cockrell Center is filled with smiling faces and eager students thanks to the work of several volunteers.
The students are in the room as part of the Corrigan after school feeding program. The volunteers don't care about the loud noise that echoes through the room; their only care is that the children are taken care of.
"We help them with their homework," Corrigan Housing Authority Director Johnna Gibson said. "We play bingo and games. We also are going to offer some counseling."
The program is put on by the Corrigan Housing authority and Food and Nutrition Specialist in Lufkin.
"We're excited to partner with a program that has an after school feeding program where we can team up with them to where we can meet their needs with nutrition," nutritionist Angela Flowers said.
A recent study supports Flowers' statement. After school Alliance recently polled parents across the county and found that 69 percent of the parents polled in Texas believe the after school program their child goes to provide a suitable food option.
Volunteer and co-organizer Joe Walker Sr. said it's important to fill a void in a community where data shows over 40 percent of the residents living below poverty.
"It brings a lot of joy because we have parents that have work and this after school feeding program carries the kids over," Walker said.
Walker said his only purpose for the program is to make sure no one goes hungry.
The program averages about 40 children a day but Gibson said they are able to serve a lot more. Any school age child in the community is welcome to attend. People wishing to learn more about the program are asked to call the housing authority in Corrigan.