In Brevard County the number of children in the free and reduced-price meal program exceeds 50%. Some elementary schools have 80% or more of their kids on the free and reduced-price meal program with many of them at risk of childhood hunger and malnutrition.
When we talk about risk of childhood hunger we base it on the fact that the lunch program available in public schools around the country has been recognized by our government and various charities as the key indicator of hunger risk and poverty in a geographic area.
Childhood hunger leads to a weaker immune system, difficulty in learning, paying attention in class and behaving properly to retain what they learn. Hungry kids are sick more often and have lower academic achievement.Brevard County Schools, to their great credit, are able to provide a free breakfast plus a healthy lunch through the program during the week. For some students, though, lunch on Friday is the last regular meal they will receive until the following Monday. The Children's Hunger Project provides weekend meals and fights childhood hunger and malnutrition during the school year. Teachers and school administrators, those on the front line of caring for our children while they are away from their parents during the week, know firsthand of the weekend hunger problem. The teachers know as they wave goodbye on Fridays which students will not have proper nutrition over the weekend. They know which students will arrive Monday morning ill-prepared to learn properly.
We look with horror at pictures coming from other countries in which children are hungry. We generously give to charities feeding children in those countries. It is time that we address childhood hunger in our own back yard
No child in our great country should go two days without proper food and nutrition. The fault lies in many places, some that come to your mind and some that have came to the mind of many others as they learned of the problem. The fault does not lie, however, with the child.
The time is right to address the local problem of childhood hunger and malnutrition
By addressing this problem, The Children's Hunger Project is responsible for positive results in children including:
Better test scores
Improved reading skills
Kids are also hungry on the weekends. Food is the foundation for school success.