NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Nourish NC continues fighting hunger in New Hanover County. They held their biggest packing event of the year Friday.
Fifty-one percent of the students in New Hanover county are eligible for free or reduced lunch. That means, school might be the only place they get a good meal, but now school is out for the summer.
Board Member Paige Blair says this normally happy time for students is sometimes a reminder of hunger.
"Not every kid looks forward to getting out of school for the summer cause that means that their going to go without that free breakfast and lunch that they have when the school year is in," Blair said.
First time volunteer Celest Anderson holds back tears thinking about the county's hungry students.
"We live in the richest country, and to think there's children who don't have food, having children myself, that breaks my heart," Anderson said.
Nourish NC has been fighting child hunger in New Hanover County since 2008. They pack food for kids to have for weekends, holidays and now summer break. Blair says this year's event was a huge success.
"By far this is the largest event Nourish NC has ever done, because our numbers have gone now up to 400 students," she said.
Those 400 students are selected by school administrators and social workers. Blair says for the kids, the program makes a difference teachers can see.
"When they get into their classrooms on Monday mornings, a lot of times their head's on their desk," she said. "This is solving those problems."
Volunteers lined up and spread out packing boxes assembly line style. A great majority of the volunteers made the event a family affair.
Anderson said she definitely wanted to bring her children.
"I want them to see there are kids out here that don't have food," Anderson said. "I think it's important to start them young volunteering and giving their time and thinking about other people."