General Childhood Hunger Facts

Over 16 million children in America are struggling with hunger. Even one missed meal can harm a child’s development.

Studies show that when a child goes hungry over the weekend it will take that child 2.5 days of regular meals to retain what they are learning. That means if a child comes to school hungry on Monday they are not ready to learn until Wednesday afternoon!

According to Feeding America:

  1.  Children growing up in food insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunned development from the earliest stages of life.
  2. Children who are food insecure are more likely to require hospitalization, have more frequent instances of oral health problems and may be at higher risk for chronic health conditions, such as anemia and asthma.
  3. Food insecurity among young children is associated with poorer physical quality of life, which may prevent them from fully engaging in daily activities such as school and social interaction with peers.
  4. Food insecure children may be at greater risk of truancy and school tardiness. When they are in school, children who are food insecure may experience increases in an array of behavior problems including fighting, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings, and bullying.

According to a Time Magazine article, scientists found that children who went hungry at least once in their lives were 2.5 times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared to those children who never had to go without food.

Childhood hunger causes health problems, creates educational problems and leads to workforce and job readiness problems.

There are many resources available to learn more about childhood hunger in America. The following is a list of links to help you get started.

Recent Article - Number of hungry children in U.S. is dropping

The problem of childhood hunger cannot be ignored. Please get involved with the Evanston Hungry Children Backpack Program to help make a difference.