It is a hard number to believe. In a country as wealthy and generous as ours, but it's true. Of course, it's not that we don't have enough food to go around. Effective programs for feeding hungry children exist. But not enough kids have reliable access to those programs.

Donors, activists, community leaders, teachers and volunteers make it possible for community programs across the country to get kids the food they need. We hear amazing stories every day about how a healthy meal can change a life. Here are four of them:

1. Breakfast for Patrick

Patrick lives with his grandmother in rural Tennessee. She works hard to make sure he has everything he needs, but her job doesn't pay that well, so sometimes they rely on food programs to help them get by. Because of where they live, the programs used to be hard to reach. But now that Patrick's school serves a free breakfast to every student as part of the regular school day, he's getting more of what he needs.

2. Chloe’s summer snacks

Chloe is age four, and her family struggles to make ends meet — especially in the summer, when school meals disappear. But thanks to a local program providing free meals to every kid when school is out, Chloe had the great summer that she deserved.

3. Two B’s in a pod

Bree'Anna and Brih'Leigh live on Blackfeet tribal lands in rural Montana. It's stunningly beautiful. Every morning they wake up to the dramatic Rocky Mountains rising up above their town, and their lives are steeped in the traditions of their community. But jobs and resources are scarce, and many families here live in deep poverty. Their parents rely on food programs to ensure their daughters have enough to eat.

4. Kyara’s healthy start

Most parents struggle to instill a love of healthy foods in their children. That struggle can be even harder for parents with low incomes and limited resources. But Kyara learned to love healthy salads after she had one with apples and carrots at a summer meals program, and now she eats better than ever. And that will make her healthier and happier for years to come.