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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – For about the price of a cup of gourmet coffee or a fast-food hamburger, you can feed a North Texas kid for the weekend.

This summer, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is launching its first-ever digital donation campaign called “Silence the Growl.”

The idea is to get as many $5 donations as possible, with each one buying enough food to feed a school-aged child for the weekend.

“Hunger is a critical issue. We should not have children worried about where their next meal is going to come from,” said United Way COO Susan Hoff.

During the school year, children receiving free and reduced breakfast and lunch don’t have to worry about meals during the daytime. But it’s a different story during the summer. When they should be playing and enjoying summer, many of them are thinking about food.


“It’s difficult. It’s upsetting when you think it’s going good for the month and then you run out of food,” said Jametria Glaspie, mother of four. Glaspie said she often struggles the last two weeks of the month to feed her daughter and three boys, as the food in her pantry, refrigerator and freezer runs low. “Sometimes when a child asks for more…when they want seconds or thirds, I am not going to deny that. But when you get to the end of the month and you start running out of food, it’s hard. It’s stressful.”

With one son, who has been diagnosed with autism and another who also goes to speech therapy, she is thankful that a program like “Silence the Growl” exists. It takes one more burden off her mind.

“It could be helping the person next door, it could be helping someone in your family. You never know what someone is going through.”

The statistics seem to back up Glaspie’s claim. Hunger is often referred to as a silent epidemic, with more than 260,000 kids considered hungry across Collin, Dallas, Denton and Rockwall counties alone.

“In our area, there are almost 130,000 people working full-time and living under the poverty level. Those are the families that are hit hardest by this. It’s not that they are sitting home not working, it’s that they are working and sometimes they can’t make ends meet,” said Hoff.

The “Silence the Growl” campaign aims to bridge the gap for those families, by providing non-perishable, healthy and easy to prepare food to keep kids bellies full this summer.

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