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.
- 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