On October 7, 2013, United Way of Brevard and The Children's Hunger Project joined to present the 1st Annual Child Hunger Summit. Over 120 religious leaders or their congregation representatives came together to learn more about the silent hunger and malnutrition problem with young kids in Brevard County. The Summit tied in nicely with United Way's initiative to address childhood hunger and education.
The Child Hunger Summit brought awareness to Brevard County's faith-based leaders of the significant hunger issues local kids are facing. They learned how their congregations could help generate the change necessary to assist hungry kids here in our own backyard.
CLICK HERE to see what Florida Today had to say about the 1st Annual Child Hunger Summit.
CLICK HERE to see our official "thumbs up" from Florida Today's Opinion page.
Brevard School Board nutritionists and administrators, pediatricians, principals and other experts framed the dangers of childhood malnutrition and hunger as it relates directly to early childhood learning. Dangers such as inhibited cognitive development, doing poorly in school and more likelihood of medical problems are just a few of the problems associated with childhood hunger.
The leaders learned that the road to education and, ultimately, a more successful life, starts with what happens to a child in elementary school. Without proper nutrition, the elementary school age child will not have the foundation for doing well in their school career. This is true even if the child has a stable home environment with two parents, has good health care, and goes to an excellent school.
Without proper nutrition, the child is doomed to a lower learning level in school and a lifetime of underachievement.
Religious leaders learned what their roles could be in helping to solve the local hunger issue with our kids. They now know that the key to solving the problem is local, grassroots and within their grasp. Master of Ceremonies and President of United Way, Rob Rains, joined Sarah Anthony and Bob Barnes of The Children's Hunger Project in urging each congregation to simply "adopt" one elementary school, the one closest to their congregation. The reality is that if each congregation would provide funding for ten kids at the nearest elementary school, the problem of kids coming to school hungry Monday morning could virtually be eliminated.
CLICK HERE to view the printed program for the Child Hunger Summit.
CLICK HERE to view more photos on The Children's Hunger Project Facebook album
Photos by Cathy Heinz Photography, the official photographer of The Children's Hunger Project