LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Keeping students fed has been a priority across the state of Arkansas— and in the Little Rock School District, there's a new initiative to help with that.
On Wednesday morning, LRSD Superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright, and other administrators kicked off a new food drive campaign after they noticed an uptick in families that have been experiencing food insecurity.
"We decided to invest back into the pantries that have the most immediate impact on our students and families," LRSD Superintendent, Dr. Jermall Wright said.
Dr. Wright kicked off "Stock the Rock the Wright Way" to get more people involved in the food drive.
"Today's goal is to begin notifying our community over the next two weeks about our needs and ask them to do a drive-thru drop off during a one-hour window on March 15th," he explained.
Chicot Early Childhood Center Coordinator, Donna Hall said she sees the food insecurity struggle firsthand— with students, their families, and even some staff members.
"This is a long time coming. We need it in our schools. We see the struggles. I see it a lot of times on their faces," Hall added.
According to LRSD, nearly 80 percent of students in the district receive free or reduced lunches and 730 students are in families in the transition program.
That program helps to support children experiencing homelessness, and it is almost double what it was last school year.
"We want to reach every child. We want to meet the needs of every child," she said.
Each school has a different list of requested items.
At Washington Elementary, administrators have been working to fill these shelves with hygiene products.
"There's still a deficit, there's still a void. And so we can definitely use the help in that area," Community school site coordinator, Angelia Johnson said.
Johnson also said that getting the donations delivered straight to the school will be a huge help.
"To be able to service them right here when their child comes to school, or as they're being dropped off or heading back home is very essential and vital to the essence of what we do. You can't learn if you're hungry," she added.
You can find each school's list of requested items here.