Every day 13 million children in the U.S. aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.
One in six kids don’t have enough to eat at least some of the time. While that number is significant, during summer months it’s even more alarming, nearly doubling as kids lose access to school lunch and breakfast programs.
Families rely on school lunch programs to help feed their kids.
For some children, school lunch is the only meal they get all day.
While the responsibility of feeding kids has fallen on educators, the school system already operates on a tight budget.
In the U.S., 22 million kids rely on free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. But during summer break, just 16% of kids who need summer meals are able to access them through the USDA funded Summer Food Service Program, which enables community leaders to establish summer meal delivery sites.
The importance of accessible summer lunch programs in combating hunger is major.
Not getting enough good food to eat causes more than hunger.
When the body doesn’t get the vitamins and nutrients it needs, energy and mood are affected too. Hunger is also associated with headaches, depression, anxiety and a decreased ability to focus. Children facing hunger are twice as likely to repeat a grade in elementary school, and they’re more likely to drop out of high school.
In addition to compromising growth and development, malnutrition can cause health problems that may become lifelong. An inadequate diet can also cause a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. For example, a vitamin C deficiency can occur if one doesn’t get enough fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet, leading to a condition called scurvy.
Fast food and ramen noodles shouldn’t be staples but fresh food, vegetable, and fruit prices are rising.
The average monthly cost of groceries in March increased 3.3% from March 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The COVID-19 pandemic is partially to blame. Supply chain disruptions are common and as everything has started to reopen, demand has increased; so have prices.
Many families depend on local nonprofits like food trucks to help them through the difficult summers, but resources like this are not available in all communities.
All this is why we’re launching a Summer Without Hunger campaign focused on kids.
Through our Food Security Project, Foundation Beyond Belief is working to feed kids in need this summer.
Our food security teams run weekend backpack programs, mobile food pantries, and other giveaway programs throughout the summer and all year long to get food to hungry kids. Our teams work hard, and they rely on our help.
Check out our campaign page here.
You can help!
For as little as $2.50, you can provide a meal for a child in need.
For $250, you can feed a child AND their family for the whole summer.
Donate at our campaign page. And know you’re impacting somebody for the rest of their life.