Updated: Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 6:55 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012, 4:38 PM EDT
VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - In honor of this week’s United Way of the Wabash Valley Hunger Challenge, an organized bus tour took participants around Vigo County to see where many people struggle each day to put food on the table.
For many students around Vigo County, school serves as their refuge.
It's cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and lunch trays offer some of their greatest meals.
"Just to have to think all day about when you get home, you're not going to have much food," Vigo County School Superintendent Danny Tanoos said.
More than half the students in Vigo County schools are on free and reduced lunch programs, and at some schools, as many as 90% of students use the program. Add in weekend food bags and morning breakfast, local schools seem to be going above and beyond for students.
"There are children who rely on us for so many things like not only food but shoes, clothing, something utility bills," Tanoos added.
For that and many other reasons, Tanoos helped put together a bus tour to show where students live, what they overcome, and what happens when the problems go past the dinner table.
"I want folks to not only have the hunger challenge, but to put themselves in some of those homes we saw and make them understand what our students go through every day."
"This is an important part for people to see both the good and the bad of Terre Haute," Troy Fears of the United Way said.
From city housing complexes to low income neighborhoods and everything in between, families everywhere struggle.
"It's really about empathy,” Fears added. “It's about caring for your neighbor."
While many on the bus only feel the pains of hunger for this week alone, the representation is clear that the struggles for so many last much longer.
"For so many people in our community who are struggling week in and week out, that struggle continues,” Fears said. “We need to help them as much as we can."
Opinions that are derogatory, attack other users or are offensive in nature may be removed. WTHI is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark or thread. To mark a comment for review by a moderator, click "Report Abuse."