Hunger Hits Home

My confession for the week:

I’ve ignored hunger in our country.

I’ve been so caught up in the famine ravaging east Africa, and all other areas of the world where people desperately need food.

It doesn’t mean we should ignore those places that need help now, but we can’t overlook the fact that there are children in our home country going hungry.

The Food Network is airing a documentary about child hunger in America.

Hunger Hits Home airs April 14 8/7c

I’m definitely going to be watching when it premieres to find out what I can do to help feed these innocent lives, deprived of one of the most basic necessities in life.

Facts About Hunger:

  • According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010.
  • 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009. The District of Columbia (32.3%) and Oregon (29.2%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.
  • In 2009, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, & Texas. iii
  • In 2009, the top five states with the lowest rate of food insecure children under 18 are North Dakota, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, & Massachusetts. iii
  • Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children. 62 percent of client households with children under the age of 18 reported participating in the National School Lunch Program, but only 14 percent reported having a child participate in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out.i
  • 54 percent of client households with children under the age of 3 participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).i
  • 32 percent of pantries, 42 percent of kitchens, and 18 percent of shelters in the Feeding America network reported “many more children in the summer” being served by their programs.i
  • In 2010, 16.4 million or approximately 22 percent of children in the U.S. lived in poverty.
  • Research indicates that hungry children have do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate.
  • In fiscal year 2009, 48 percent of all SNAP participants were children
  • During the 2010 federal fiscal year, 20.6 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Unfortunately, just 2.3 million of these same income-eligible children participated in the Summer Food Service Program that same year.

-source Feeding America


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Write a comment
  1. Tara @ 6 April, 2012, 12:47

    I think it’s amazing for you to bring this up…it’s important for people to recognize that this is a problem right here in the country we live in.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 6 April, 2012, 16:17

      Thanks Tara! I am so embarrassed I’ve overlooked this really awful situation for so long.

      Reply this comment
  2. Nicky 6 April, 2012, 23:21

    Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. I went hungry a lot as a kid and summers were indeed the hardest times because school was out. My parents weren’t aware of any programs to help feed us during the school year. Our church has a program to help feed hungry families in exchange for service, but my parents refused to use it for a long time. Things got better when they finally came around. God blessed me greatly during that time. I had a boyfriend whose family fed me and I got a job as a banquet server where I also got free gourmet meals. There are so many issues that go into this problem. Helping parents to manage their finances better would help some families, education about job training and career resources for parents and working age teens is another thing that would help. Education about growing food gardens and urban homesteading would help a lot of families in my opinion. There is hope for this problem.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 7 April, 2012, 10:58

      Wow Nicky,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. You made me cry. God is good, and as a follower of Jesus I feel I have definitely been a huge disappointment in this area.

      What really got me was reading about the children who do not use the food programs over the summer. I am in fear of what those summers are like

      I am so happy the Food Network is doing this. Education is important in improving lives of these children.

      Reply this comment
  3. Adrienne 7 April, 2012, 09:36

    You already know how much I adore you, but you also know that I am a big “speak what you think” kinda of person. It is one of my biggest pet peeves how many people are fighting for so many in other countries. We have so many problems right here in their own backyards. Yes others are important as well, but what happened to Charity begins at HOME?

    Reply this comment
  4. Jamie Lynne Author 7 April, 2012, 11:00

    Exactly Adrienne. I am so embarrassed I overlooked this for so long. I am all for helping out other countries, but my goodness- ignoring our own country seems destructive and cruel. I think there is a huge misconception that other countries are more needy than our own.

    Reply this comment
  5. So You Think You Can Mom? 7 April, 2012, 11:35

    The thought of a child going to bed hungry breaks my heart. It takes only a few to change the lives of many!

    Reply this comment
  6. Shelby Barone 7 April, 2012, 11:38

    Such an important cause! Thank you for sharing, and I will help spread the word!

    Reply this comment

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