10/22/2008 AT 12:30 PM EDT
brightened the lives of some students in need at a Fort Wayne, Ind. elementary school Tuesday.
Duff, 21, visited South Wayne Elementary School as a part of a promotion for Blessings in a Backpack
, according to the Associated Press. The nonprofit organization donates food to needy students between the ages of 5 and 11; the children receive food on Fridays to ensure they don't go hungry over the weekend.
"I feel lucky enough to have a voice or a name that people might pay attention to," Duff said. "I think that people might not be aware that a couple neighborhoods away, kids aren't having food on the weekends, and we just want people to be informed and to know what's going on in their communities and to help if they can."
In the past, Duff visited a school in Orlando, and her visit earned praise from a teacher named Peggy. "I have a 3-year-old daughter and Hilary Duff will be a positive role model in her life," the teacher wrote in a letter
posted on the organization's Web site. "Not because she is an actress or singer but because she is a good and decent person who wants to make a difference in the world. Her parents should be very proud."
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