Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

Hunger for Children in Summer

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This week, Julia’s and Hank’s family visited Catholic Charities’ food pantry with some special requests. Julia and Hank are home for the summer and cannot get to the community feeding program they use to help with summer meals this week. You see, their family like so many in our community, face more challenges during the summer to keep food on the table. Families with school age children rely on the meals their children receive at school to help provide nutritious meals so the children don’t go hungry. The staples, meats, fruits and vegetables, dairy and kid friendly snacks given to Julia’s and Hank’s family means these children will not go hungry this week.

Hunger hurts everyone, but it is especially devastating in childhood because hunger deprives kids of more than just food. On empty stomachs, kids don’t have the energy to focus, engage, learn and grow. Yet, this is the reality for 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

According to Feeding America what are the effects of child hunger? b2ap3_thumbnail_child-economy-study.jpg

  • 100 MISSED MEALS

An average food-insecure family of four may forgo up to 100 meals a month because they lack enough money to buy food.

  • 84% PURCHASE CHEAP FOOD

84% of households served by the Feeding America network report purchasing the cheapest food available, even if it wasn’t the healthiest option to provide enough food for the household.

  • 20% INELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

20% of children in food-insecure households are not eligible for government assistance—these families rely exclusively on charitable organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet.

For many families, the year long struggle with having a sufficient amount of food becomes even more challenging this time of the year. During the summer, these children miss meals. Childhood hunger during the summer months means Catholic Charities food pantries must provide even more. Hunger does not take a summer vacation!

 

 

By Sharon Davis, 
Charlotte Regional Office Director

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Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte © 2014