A worrying number of families are left facing a battle every week to afford even the most basic food needs.
UK food banks have previously warned that its users are ‘on the brink of starvation’ as demands for their services soars and supplies run low.
The reality of what some children are facing reduced one teacher to tears after a simple question from one of her young pupils.
Writing on Facebook , Brooke said: “Today I cried at work. Not because I hate my job, or that it is just too hard (it really is).
“Today I cried for a child, a child who so innocently talked about food, and the lack of it.”
Brooke was caught off when the boy asked when the ‘lady that puts food in his backpack is coming’.
He was referring to the school’s guidance counselor and the teacher explained, unsure of what he needed, that she didn’t know when the lady he was looking for was in.
When the student told her he was out of food at home and needed more, Brooke was taken back.
She asked him what was in the bag that he liked so much. Was it the macaroni bowls? The crackers? She asked if it was spaghetti Os he liked.
“He laughed and told me no, that they didn’t have those,” she wrote.
“Then it happened. He looked at me and said ‘those little Os (as he made a small circle with his hand).
‘We don’t have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep’
“I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever.”
Heartbroken Brooke sprang into action and sent a message to the teacher chat group, who all chipped in to put a bag of food together for the boy to take home – including a tin of spaghetti Os.
The school in Jacksboro, United States, is now starting a food pantry for its students to ensure they will be able to get food and hygiene products whenever they are needed.
The post has since had 29,000 shares and 4,700 comments – and Brooke said she has had an outpouring of texts, calls and messages from people wanting to help.
“I did not write this for anyone to get praise, nobody did it for the praise,” said the teacher.
“Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child. Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!
“It’s a crazy rollercoaster of emotions being a teacher, but today it was worth every tear that fell to see him light up when that bag was put into his backpack.”