School Bus

Back to School: Too Hungry to Think

Molly Slicker Why Hunger?

Have You Ever Been Hungry?

Imagine before lunch you’re giving a presentation, in an important meeting or driving to pick your kids up from a soccer game. Then, everything seems to start late, run long, or you’re stuck in traffic. The closer you get to when your body says it’s lunchtime, the closer you get to losing your cool. You’re more easily annoyed than usual, you’re having trouble coming up with just the right words and you’re just focused on your lunch break instead of the things that matter to you.

You’re experiencing the beginning pains of hunger—a feeling that affects almost 50 million Americans every day and 16.2 million of them are children.

Too Hungry to Think

Many recent studies have shown that children who go to school hungry are not only negatively affected physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Although food insecurity and hunger is harmful to any individual, it is particularly detrimental among young children’s potential for long–term success. The health problems that occur in children affected by hunger go far beyond just stunted growth or weakened bodies. It also curbs their ability to participate fully in school and in social interactions.

Little Girl At Desk

Research conducted by Children’s HealthWatch has found substantial evidence that young children who are food-insecure are nearly twice as likely to be in poorer health than those from households with food security.

In studies examining the cognitive outcomes of hunger they found that food-insecure children scored lower than their peers on a measure of child intelligence and general achievement test scores, and were more likely to have repeated a grade. The lack of nutrition and lack of stability in eating habits are incredibly damaging to the brain function. When you’re hungry, it’s much harder to concentrate, focus and retain information.

These children are more likely to suffer from common illnesses which hinders their overall attendance in school. It’s hard to do well in school, when you’re not well enough to attend.

They Are Missing the Basics, But You Can Help

These children aren’t given the tools they really need to succeed in school, and life: basic nutrition.

About 48.1% of children in public schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. These programs are a great resource for those students but what about when they’re not in school? What about on nights, weekends or breaks?

Our ultimate goal is to provide healthy meals that fuel the minds and bodies of these children and their families. With proper nutrition they can grow healthy, think clearly and learn efficiently in school. They deserve to be set up for the success they’re so desperately working, wishing and striving for. They deserve a brighter future and that starts with a healthy meal.

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