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05 marzo 2009

Hilary visits fort myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Celebrity Hilary Duff visited Tice Elementary Wednesday morning to help fight childhood hunger.
She came to Fort Myers because of her involvement in the non-profit "Blessings in a Backpack".
"A lot of em (students) get food at school. What happens on the weekends? It's devastating the numbers. We decided to get backpacks and fill em full with food, and send home with the students over the weekends to share with their family," said Duff.
"Blessings in a Backpack" provides take home food for 510 students at Tice Elementary. The students take home a backpack full of food on Friday, and bring the empty backpack back to school on Monday.
"It really affects me and everyone that hears about it. Just a neighborhood away from where you are, people are really suffering and they need our help," said Duff.
Duff briefly spoke to the entire student body at Tice and then met with some students individually. She also helped pack backpacks with food that will go home with students Friday.
"It changes my life too. It's kind of selfish because I love doing it and it rewards me so much," said Duff.
For some students in Lee County, the meals they eat at school are the only meals they get.
Principal Jim Jackson of Tice Elementary said, "There's a lot of hungry kids out there."
Tice Elementary has the highest rate of students on free and reduced lunch in the county at 95-percent. Which is why the non-profit "Blessings in a Backpack stepped in to keep kids from going hungry.
Teachers at Tice and other schools in Southwest Florida have noticed kids taking home food they don't eat, food like cereal and fruit cups.
"Not too many things go uneaten anymore we have second and third graders thinking about their brothers and sisters."
"In order to learn, it's hard to be hungry and do what you need to do," said Jackson.
Orange River Elementary has a project similar to "Blessings in a Backpack". The principal there sends more than 700 backpacks full of food home with students every week. They're working on bringing it to other schools.

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