Hunger Bugs Me! was written by Jeremy Gregg, illustrated by Arlene Soto and produced by North Texas Food Bank in 2021. The book aims to create a conversation about the issue of hunger in the community. In the book, Ladybug and her friends embark on an adventure in Jan’s Garden at the NTFB Perot Family Campus to help their friend, Butterfly, who is facing hunger.
“It is surprising to most that North Texas has the fourth-highest number of people facing hunger across the nation – about 640,000, and tragically more than one-third of those are children,” said Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. “The Hunger Bugs Me! book was created to engage children and help them not only understand the issue of food insecurity in their community but also show them that they can be a part of the solution.”
Since the book’s launch, Hunger Bugs Me! has received overwhelmingly positive support, with teachers, librarians, children and families recognizing the book’s important message about children facing hunger, according to a press release. In addition to the book, there are Downloadable Resources that accompany Hunger Bugs Me!, including a PDF with a conversation guide that has some quick tips to help adults talk to children about the issue of hunger.
Distribution of the books to the 785 schools located in 106 school districts was made possible through a $100,000 donation from Atmos Energy.
“Atmos Energy has been a long-standing supporter of the North Texas Food Bank and helping to fund the distribution of the Hunger Bugs Me! book was a natural collaboration as it supports our goals of addressing food insecurity as well as education in the communities that we serve,” said Kelly Bielger, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs. “We are pleased to partner with the North Texas Food Bank in distributing this book to elementary schools across North Texas.”
Hunger Bugs Me! is available for purchase on the NTFB website for $30. Proceeds from each book benefit the North Texas Food Bank and provide 90 meals to North Texans facing hunger.