Courtesy: Feeding America
by Allison Weber
In America, 1 in 7 children struggle with hunger, and there may be millions of kids across the country who are not getting the nourishment their bodies need. We chatted with Christina Martinez, program manager of children and families at Feeding America, to better understand how hunger impacts kids and how the Feeding America network is helping children facing hunger.
How does hunger affect a child’s ability to learn?
Sadly, hunger may impact a child’s school performance. Research demonstrates that children from families who are not sure where their next meal may come from are more likely to have lower math scores and repeat a grade, among other challenges.
What are the effects of hunger on child development?
Kids at risk of hunger may be less equipped to reach their full potential as they engage with the world around them. Studies show that children from homes that lack consistent access to food are more likely to experience developmental impairments in areas like language, motor skills, and behavior.
What does a child need to succeed in school?
Children need nutrients so they can grow, develop and focus on learning instead of thinking about the food they need. Ultimately, they need to be able to concentrate in the classroom so they can succeed in school and be prepared to enter the workforce as adults.
How can I help kids facing hunger this school year?
Hunger during the school year is not a class any kid wants to take. But with your help, we can make sure kids have the healthy food they need when school is in session so they can learn, play and grow. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Volunteer at your local food bank
Many food banks have programs that work to ensure kids get the healthy meals they need during the school year —and some of them may be looking for volunteers to help. From packing backpacks with food so kids have meals all weekend to providing lunches at Kids Cafe programs, food banks and their partner agencies need volunteers to help connect hungry kids with food.
Donate to Feeding America
Through partnerships with libraries, mobile meal distributions, after school programs, food pantries inside schools and much more – the Feeding America network is committed to helping every child go to school with a full stomach, ready to learn. Join us by giving to Feeding America – so that this school year, children across the country can focus on learning and growing, and not on hunger.