BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The United Way of Kern County united forces with community organizations to help families facing food insecurity. The initiative is part of their ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies’ program.

Over 200 families drove by Zephyr Lane Elementary School, where volunteers distributed food, books and dental hygiene kits to low-income children and families. Currently, two of the largest issues in Kern County are literacy and hunger. This event targets both.

The United Way of Kern County said children cannot focus on learning if they are hungry, and access to books is crucial in creating routine reading for future success.

“If children are fed a healthy meal and read with their parent at a young age, their brain develops so much better and that helps their education,” Gabriel Adame said.

Employees from Tasteful Selections were on hand to help with the event.

“Many of our employees work and live in this community so it’s a way for our company to give back to employees that serve and work in our company,” Isabel Bravo from Tasteful Selections said.

Dignity Health, CAPK and Capital Dental also joined the event as partners.

According to Kern County Health Department, one in four children go to bed hungry every night, and that numbers tends to skyrocket during summer break.