Summer is supposed to be a time for chucking our cares away, slathering on some coconut sunscreen, catching up on all your favorite authors, and falling asleep beachside to the sound of rolling waves.
But for many kids, summer vacation brings something altogether less sunny. Students living in poverty often depend on school-supported breakfasts and dinner; in fact, over half of Alabama’s students receive free or discounted breakfasts and lunches every day. In fact, too often these kids go home and are unable to eat again until the next school day. The dark cloud on the horizon for these children is that without these meals, there’s no guarantee that they will eat– much less have access to nutritionally sound food.
Childhood hunger is not simply an issue of an empty stomach today. According to the report Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on our Nation commissioned by Feeding America and the ConAgra Foods Foundation, childhood hunger can have a dramatic impact on a child’s long-term success. Some of the key findings indicated that:
• Under-nutrition during formative years can actually change the fundamental neurological architecture of the brain and central nervous system;
• Hungry children do not perform as well in school and have lower academic achievement because, among other issues, they are less able to concentrate;
• Hungry children develop more social and behavioral problems because they have less energy and are less able to adapt to stresses;
• Finally, as adults, workers who experienced hunger as children are not as well prepared to perform effectively in the contemporary workforce.
It’s fair to say that because childhood hunger actually holds kids back into adulthood it perpetuates poverty, affecting families for generations. An engaged safety net system, with the involvement of folks like you, is the best opportunity to end the cycle.
That’s why this summer we’re counting on donors and volunteers like you to help us break this cycle. We’re counting on you to spend some time in our warehouse, repacking nutritious food for distribution. We’re counting on you to host fund and food drives that will increase our supply of product. We’re counting on you to give generously to support our critical feeding programs. We’re counting on you to refer families in need to MAFB so that they can receive the food assistance they need to live healthy, productive lives.
We’re counting on you to be a part of the solution! Let’s make this the summer we take a bite out of childhood hunger!
Click the links to help the Food Bank in their mission