PHOENIX (KSAZ) - In Arizona, nearly 60% of children get free or reduced lunches at their school, and when schools shut down , that means more than 500,000 kids are at risk of going hungry.
One school district has vowed not to let that happen.
90% of kids in the Alhambra Elementary School District live below the poverty level, and district officials know it may be a struggle for parents to provide extra food for their kids during the walkout, and it is prepared to feed students, even when school is closed.
"We have made arrangements to provide families with non-perishable to-go packs, so their children will have the opportunity to eat within the next couple of days," said Linda Jeffries with the Alhambra Elementary School District.
94% of the students in this district, live in poverty, and the typical family of four in this area earns just over $25,000 a year.
"I'm very grateful that my kids have the opportunity that they have to have free lunch and free breakfast," said parent Guadalupe Gutierrez.
Families can go to their schools between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., and pick up two pre-packaged meals for each of their kids. Each kit includes a cereal bar, juice pack, and crackers.
The district expects to hand out 20,000 meal kits on Thursday and Friday, and will continue to provide the free meals for as long as the walkout lasts.
"If it's a cost that the district has to incur and won't be reimbursed for it, then we are willing to take on that responsibility," said Jeffries.
Parents in the Alhambra Elementary School District should check the school's website to find the schools that will distribute the meal kits. Meanwhile, Scottsdale School District will also be providing kids free breakfast and lunches, during the walkout, at designated locations.