Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Imagine going to school and trying to learn on an empty stomach. That is all too common in schools across the country.

To increase awareness about child hunger, this is End Child Hunger Week in South Carolina.

"The need it great," said Ashley Page, the coordinator for End Child Hunger S.C.

For some children, they don't eat anything after noontime.

"A lot of kids don't get the opportunity to get a meal throughout the day. Lunch is the last meal that they have," said Ken Garner, the teen director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands - Norman Arnold Campus.

Local after-school programs, like the Boys and Girls Club, are helping to relieve the burden for those families by giving children a hot meal after school every day. On Thursday, the Department of Social Services recognized the center for helping to curb child hunger.

"Why not shine a spotlight on programs because we can't do better academically if the kids are going to bed hungry," said Page.

When children go hungry, they can't focus, which affects their success at school and other aspects of their life.

"I won't stop doing what I do until there is zero kids in South Carolina going hungry."