MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Not every student at Porter Elementary School gets to go home to a prepared meal. That's why parents and members of the community took charge last month.
Principal Jared Smith said members of the PTO helped organize a food drive in November to help students who don't get enough food at home. The response was overwhelming.
"We want to make sure they are safe, warm and fed. If we miss any of that in the student's life, then education becomes secondary," said Smith.
Smith said teachers are able to determine which kids need food or snacks and they then help the student pick out what they want for the day or for several days if need be.
"This year we have noticed that there are more children who are very hungry and need food at night for supper," said PTO member Shana Dowlen.
Many of the items are "supper" foods that students can prepare themselves at home. Smith said the love of the community helped make this possible.
"It's important to me and all our teachers that when a kid comes through the door, they know they are loved and we are going to meet every need they have while they are here," said Smith.