Feeding hundreds of more mouths is not cheap.. and the kids cafe program tries to get bang for their buck in a struggling economy.
About 300 extra meals are eaten a night at the eight panhandle locations compared to last year.. And the cost of those meals are up.
Last year the High Plains Food Bank spent about 50 thousand on food for the program... This year they spent 130 thousand.
One reason for the increased bill... A lack of donations.
Zack Wilson with the Food Bank says, "There are a lot of the items that we just don't receive donated at the quantity that we need to help feed and serve in this program. So we have had to turn around and purchase a lot of those items."
Mix that will more plates coming through the line.
Noelia Raynoso with Kids Cafe at San Jacinto Elementary says, "Almost all schools, we have increased a little over 50 kids a school."
And you end up in a tight spot.
Wilson says, "You know we just can't stop feeding children, that's not an option."
These are nutritious meals... Something many kids do not get at home these days.
The USDA says one in five children in Texas are obese... Because it's cheaper to buy junk food.
"It only cost about $1.78 for junk food, to equal about a 1,000 calories, however for the same amount of calories under a healthy nutritious food, it cost a little over 18 dollars." Wilson says.
Wilson says there are more children out there and more work to be done..