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The Food 4 Kids program at Harborside Elementary School in Chula Vista is set up to assist hungry children. According to school nurse Maia Higgins, some of the signs of chronic hunger are dry lips, tired eyes, and thinness. Other signs are children who are always running to the front of the lunch line or always asking for seconds.

According to Higgins, the children are referred to the program by the principal or teachers. Participants come to the nurse’s office every Friday and have their backpacks stuffed with food that does not require cooking: peanut butter, granola bars, raisins, juice, and shelf-stable milk.

Higgins said attendance is up on Fridays among the Food 4 Kids group. She said the students are proud that they can take home food for their families.

The program provides food for 25 children; however, through a city grant, school administrators hope to extend the program. Donations of $8.19 will fill one Friday pack.

Vanessa Franco, who is coordinator of the program through San Diego Food Bank, says chronic hunger is on the rise in Chula Vista. She said job loss and foreclosures have contributed to the problem. Franco said the food bank also provides food for 1000 seniors in Chula Vista.

Food is distributed on the second Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m to 12 p.m at 1355 Third Avenue.

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Comments

Susan Luzzaro April 2, 2011 @ 6:57 p.m.

Just to be clear-- food for the children is every Friday and food for seniors the 2nd Wednesday. Food for the seniors is also distributed 1-3 on the same day.

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VigilantinCV April 2, 2011 @ 9:15 p.m.

It is sobering to realize we have so many hungry children. I like this program because it is small enough that resources aren't being sucked up by overseers' large salaries and offices. Handling this on a school by school basis is a good idea! Keep up the good work......I was touched that the children are proud that they can take food back to family members.

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thacerro April 3, 2011 @ 7:12 p.m.

Unfortunately the planned draconian cuts to Park and Recreation are going to eliminate the lunch program for children held during school breaks at the Recreation Centers, which are going to be open less than the two half days per week they are open now.

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SurfPuppy619 April 5, 2011 @ 4:53 p.m.

Unfortunately the planned draconian cuts to Park and Recreation are going to eliminate the lunch program for children held during school breaks at the Recreation Centers, which are going to be open less than the two half days per week they are open now.

================= You can blame FF's, cops and a host of other over compensated public employees for those cuts affecting the program for the poor.

You cannot compensate unskilled/semi skilled employees $200K per year and have social programs for the poor.

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Susan Luzzaro April 4, 2011 @ 8:10 a.m.

Thacerro,

I wasn't aware of that additional consequence. It's going to be a difficult spring break for many parents and children.

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AAA April 5, 2011 @ 2:21 p.m.

Wow, what a waste of money. Poor people in this country don't die of starvation, they die of diabetes and heart disease because they're overweight. These kids are the victims of crappy parenting, not poverty. If the parent(s) is/are poor enough for their kid to need this program then they're probably on food stamps, which is rediculously generous. It sounds like the food stamps are being traded for booze, drugs, cigarettes, lottery tickets, etc., rather than providing food for the family.

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VigilantinCV April 5, 2011 @ 8:05 p.m.

tHANK YOU AAA! I was feeling depressed by so much hunger but now I am more depressed about ignorance, stupidity and stereotyping.

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