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Hungry children by the thousands

Week days are long and tiring for families. During the day, the kids are in school, parents are at
work; at night, there is dinner to get on the table, homework to finish, and family time to
squeeze in.

That schedule doesn't apply for all families, especially those with parents who work several low-paying jobs or whose grocery budget is so taxed, it's not possible to put a hot, nutritious dinner on the table every night.

The staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo noticed a few years ago that as one official explained, the kids at five of the city-based clubhouses were "beyond" hungry by dinnertime. The agency is now serving dinner to children who attend its after-school programs, which is the focus of a Page 1 story today written by News reporter Deidre Williams.

By the end of the year, the agency plans to serve hot, nutritious dinners to 8,500 kids per week at
16 clubhouses in Buffalo, Amherst and Cheektowaga.

The parents working long shifts and struggling to make ends meet are grateful their children are getting a square meal and doing their homework in a safe, supervised place.

But the fact that thousands of local children would otherwise go without a good dinner most days is deeply disturbing.

Tucked safely in our homes enjoying dinner with our families, we should think about these 8,500 children. And we should be asking ourselves how we can help.

-- Susan LoTempio

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