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Valley couple fighting child weekend hunger

PHOENIX — A Valley couple is on a mission to tackle the problem of hunger in our community.

“In Arizona, one in four is hungry, that’s 25 percent of our kids who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Kitchen on the Street CEO Lisa Scarpinato.

She said the idea came when a friend told them a story about a second grade student from Sudan who would go through garbage cans after lunch and would save scraps in her pocket.

“She looked for any food she could find,” said Scarpinato. “That’s because she had a brother and sister, they got breakfast and lunch at school, but they didn’t really eat on weekends.”

Together on a weekly basis, Scarpinato and a friend fill 1,500 bags of individually portioned, shelf-stable meals and snacks that contain 50 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber. Each child is presented the bag on Friday to ensure they have food until Monday.

“We’re getting good feedback,” said Vince Scarpinato. “It helps them with attendance, helps them with behavior, with grades. The kids are ready to learn when they show up with a little food in them.”

Scarpinato said the effort goes beyond filling hungry bellies.

“We call these Bags of Hope. We feel once you lose hope there’s nothing left.”

Currently, there are over 650 children that are on the Kitchen on the Street waiting list because of a need for more food and resources. For more information, click here.