AMARILLO, TX - Snack Pak 4 Kids is expanding to help hungry students across the panhandle.
The program was started in 2010 to send food home on the weekends to elementary school students who depend on school meals to feed them.
Now Snack Shak, a program just for middle and high school students, is bringing the organization's reach even farther.
At Caprock High School, Snack Shak grew so big after it's first year in 2014, that it's now offered as a class called Feed the Future
Lead Counselor Whitney Chapman said the kids do everything, from ordering and organizing the food, to encouraging kids in need to refer themselves to the program.
Middle and high school students who need the service can go online to request food that they want, and then pick it up from a teacher they trust at the end of the week.
Volunteer Executive Director of Snack Pak 4 Kids say some students who benefit from the program also volunteer for it at school.
All students are helped anonymously. After working with Snack Shak, students who eventually don't need the help anymore take themselves off the list, because they know there is always another kid who is hungry.
Surveys conducted among teachers at Snack Shak schools show that once kids are fed, attendance and grades improved all over the panhandle.
Howell's goal was to have all schools in the Panhandle benefiting from Snack Pak by 2015.
His goal is 90% complete.
Palo Duro High School, Bowie Middle School, and Sam Houston Middle School are the only schools left in Amarillo that don't benefit from Snack Pak.