A nationwide survey by Share Our Strength's "No Kid Hungry" campaign shows that three out of five teachers in the country report seeing students regularly coming to school hungry because they're not getting enough to eat at home, and many teachers say the problem is getting worse.
It's a bigger problem in Arkansas with seven out of ten teachers saying they have students who regularly come to school hungry.
The study attributes the problem to the sluggish economic recovery, persistent unemployment and rising food and fuel prices.
The survey was conducted among mroe than 1,000 K-8 public school teachers nationwide with an oversampling of teachers in Arkansas.
Arkansas 2012 Teacher of the Year Kim Wilson says the problem is often reflected in the child's school work saying, "Hungry students simply can't focus and learn."
The "No Kids Hungry" campaign seeks to reverse the trend by encouraging families to participate in the School Breakfast Program.
The study shows that, In Arkansas, only 53.7 percent of children who receive free or reduced-price lunch also participate in the breakfast program.
The campaign, a partnership between Gov. Mike Beebe, Share Our Strength and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, helps get nutritious food to kids in need, working with schools and communities to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program.
On the other hand, the survey shows that teachers are personally taking action against the trend either by assisting families in enrolling in school meal programs, referring families to resources within the school or even spending money out of their own pockets to by food for hungry students.
Teachers who buy food for hungry kids say they spend an average of $26 a month.