Valley charity battles childhood hunger

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- One in four Arizona children battles childhood hunger. There are some amazing charities here in our state working to change that statistic, but they need your help. 

Valley resident Marylou Gerardo is raising her six grandkids. 

She says she had no problem feeding her children when they were growing up, but this time around, higher prices and less income makes that tough. 

That's where nonprofit Kitchen on the Street steps in to help. They send home "bags of hope" with the kids on the weekends, helping families stretch their food budgets and keeping kids' stomachs full.  Inside the bags, volunteers have packed cans of food, granola bars and other snacks.

Cindy Alonzo, the assistant principal at Alta E. Butler Elementary in Phoenix, says parents tell her they don't know what they'd do without the bags of hope.  Unfortunately, there are not enough bags, and the school often splits the 100 bags they get every week among the 700 kids in need. 

Alonzo says they are on a waiting list to get more bags if the funding becomes available. 

Alonzo says the school is in its second year of working with Kitchen On The Street, and grades and test scores are up.  She says kids are more focused when they're not hungry.

You can help support Kitchen On The Street by donating to the 3TV Hunger Drive through Sept. 30.  You can donate at any Basha's, Food City, Albertsons or Safeway.