There are signs of child hunger.
"They'll take food from other students' trays, ask for their lunches, they might hide or store away food, " says
Stacy Donaghy , Crystal Hill Elementary Principal.
And there are side effects of child hunger.
"A lot of times, they're the ones having difficulty in class focusing, they're absent a lot," adds Donaghy.
A new study from No Kid Hungry, a non-profit aimed at streamlining partnerships and grant money to end child hunger in the state, shows 73 percent of Arkansas teachers say they have students who regularly come to school with empty stomachs.
Kim Wilson is the 2012 Teacher of the year and teaches visual arts at Monticello High.
"I have seen children that have come into school and may not have eaten since the previous day's lunch that we have served them at their school, " says Wilson.
Advocates say providing more lunches and especially more breakfasts could be the key to taking students' focus off food and on learning.
Retired superintendent Danny Knight is an advocate of the No Kid Hungry program in Arkansas.
"These kids can be fed free, it's just a matter of getting the program to them," says Knight.
In most cases, programs exist, the money is there.
But some students are still not connecting with the programs that could feed them.
"If we have another avenue of reaching these kids such as breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, we can increase participation by 70, 80, 90 percent, " says Knight.
Teachers like Kim Wilson know it can be better. "We can make a difference. We can make a change that is best for the student, so let's get to work. "
And there is still a lot of work to be done.
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