According to Children’s HealthWatch, in 2010, there were 48.8 million Americans who lived in households that were food insecure, including 16.2 million children.
But in a nation suffering from an obesity epidemic, is hunger really the problem? Experts tell us that yes, while obese kids are not all hungry, many of the most malnourished are obese.
But, as the richest state in the nation, how can Connecticut really have that many hungry kids?
The causes of hunger are many...including poverty, a slowly-receding recession, and limited access to high-quality food in urban, suburban, and rural areas of our state.
And, while hunger is bad for everyone, it is particularly hard on children whose rapidly developing bodies and brains need healthy food for future health, emotional well-being, and academic achievement.
The good news is that federal programs, like the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, are mitigating the impact of hunger in our kids when that food gets to the children who need it the most.
But all too often in Connecticut, districts don’t implement the programs available to them, leaving millions of available federal funds unused. In addition, too many eligible kids still don’t participate in the programs that are offered.
Today, we’ll hear how hunger is affecting our kids and how we can mitigate the impact. And, we want to hear from you. How can Connecticut have so many hungry kids? Should we leave it to our schools to feed our children?