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NBC Report on Hunger Features Norwalk School

Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School appeared in an NBC documentary on child hunger Saturday. "Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report,” hosted by Al Roker of the "Today” show and Natalie Morales, gives a sobering view of the effects and pervasiveness of this national problem.

Brookside Prinicipal David Hay says the school is featured as a backdrop to the story.  "Our students are seen but not heard from. The program needed a suburban school to emphasize that hunger strikes in all types of locations."

“One in four children is facing hunger in America. For families that include our neighbors and friends, hunger is a battle that is being lost at the kitchen table,” said Roker, of the 30-minute report, which tells the stories of families that don't know whether they'll have enough to eat on any given day.

The film crews and Morales visited the school a month ago. Most of the filming took place in a classroom with fourth and fifth graders. "The kids found out that it takes a lot of filming to get a few moments that will be used," says Hay.

Although it's not mentioned in the program, Hay is actively involved in combating child hunger at Brookside. Every Friday, with the help of the Connecticut Food Bank and the United Way of Fairfield County, the school fills about a dozen low-income kids' backpacks with food for the weekend. Brookside and Jefferson elementary schools started the backpack project last spring. "Child hunger is here too," says Hay.

ConAgra Foods financed the NBC program as part of a nationwide campaign called " Child Hunger Ends Here ."  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.2 million children in America are at risk of hunger. Of the 37 million Americans served annually by Feeding America member food banks, nearly 14 million are children under the age of 18.  You can donate by texting “FEEDKIDS” to 50555. That sends a $10 donation directly to Feeding America , a hunger-relief charity.  Each $10 donation helps provide 70 meals to children.

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