Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.
"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."
In class, says Sanders, that meant stressed-out kids with stomachaches, unable to concentrate, and lots of acting out.
"They have anger issues," she says. "They don't know what's really going on sometimes at home, so that comes into the school."