One In Five American Children Go Hungry and are Malnurished

By , Forbes

The U.S. faces a child hunger problem of massive proportions. Advocacy groups repeat over and over that 16.2 million children (one in five) “struggle with hunger in the United States.” 

While the Super Committee stalemates, Congress debates whether pizzas should be counted as a vegetable in school lunch programs. The Occupy Wall Street crowd deplores childhood hunger as “violence against children.” Liberals complain that Rush Limbaugh jokes about childhood poverty. Sinister pizza, cola, and salt lobbyists block valiant efforts to make school lunches healthier.

Public food stamps and school free lunch programs are colossal failures.  Despite their wide reach into poor communities, they apparently leave more than thirty percent of school children “struggling with hunger.”

The official arbiter of family nutrition is the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Its annual survey classifies families as “food secure”, “food insecure”, and “very low food secure.” It publishes no direct measure of “hunger,” only of what it calls “food security.” The details of the survey are found in the statistical appendix to the annual survey – a document that few read.

“One in five children are going to bed hungry in this country every night. That is a crime. That is a crime in this country” said Bob Beckel, Fox News commentator and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter administration. 

13 million kids in America aren't getting the food they need
By No Kid Hungry

48.8 million Americans—including 13 million children— live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year.

Food-Insecure Families

Food insecurity—the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food— exists in 17.2 million households in America, 3.9 million of them with children.

Rates of food insecurity are substantially higher than the national average among households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, among households with children headed by single parents (35.1% of female-headed households with children are food-insecure) and among Black and Hispanic households.

Food insecurity is most common in large cities but still exists in rural areas, suburbs and other outlying areas around large cities

− 25 % of households with children living in large cities are food-insecure.

The typical (median) food-secure household spent 27 percent more for food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and composition.

59% of food-insecure households reported that in the previous month they had participated in one or more of the three largest federal food and nutrition assistance programs: SNAP (formerly food stamps), School Lunch and WIC.

Related: Vice President Pence marked Armed Forces Day touting the Trump administration's commitment to "rebuild" the U.S. military

Related: President Donald Trump signed two executive actions Friday that he said would provide "a great rebuilding of the armed services"

Shocking Need: American Kids Go Hungry
By Kimberly Brow, ABC News

In high school, Katherine Foronda trained herself not to feel hungry until after the school day had ended. She wasn't watching her weight or worrying about boys seeing her eat. 

She just didn't have any food to eat or any money to buy it. 

"I thought, if I wasn't hungry during class I'd be able to actually focus on what we were learning,'' said Foronda, now 19. 

Every day, children in every county in the United States wake up hungry. They go to school hungry. They turn out the lights at night hungry. 

That is one of the stunning key findings of a new study to be released Thursday by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and the largest hunger charity in the country. 

As many as 17 million children nationwide are struggling with what is known as food insecurity. To put it another way, one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life, according to the study, "Map the Meal Child Food Insecurity 2011."

Those hungry children are everywhere, and with the uncertain economy, the numbers are only growing, experts say. 

The consequences of malnutrition can be severe. Several studies have shown that food insecurity affects cognitive development among young children. And for older children, students like Foronda, school performance is affected. Additional research shows that with hunger comes more frequent sickness and higher healthcare costs. 

Medical research has shown that lack of nutrition can permanently alter a child's brain architecture, stunting intellectual capacity and a child's ability to learn and interact with others. 

"The consequences and costs of child hunger make addressing this issue an economic and societal imperative, in addition to an obvious moral obligation," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. 

Feeding America's study, funded by ConAgra Foods, is based on 2009 statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs 15 food aid programs, including the nationwide free and subsidized school lunch program and WIC, a supplemental food program that provides tailored food supplements to pregnant women and families with children under age 5 whose household income is less than 185 percent of the gross federal poverty limit. That's an annual gross income of $41,348 for a family of four. 

In fact, a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program, according to Jean Daniel, spokesperson for the USDA. 

Previously, the only numbers available to illustrate the scope of child food insecurity across the nation were figures broken down by state. 

But the newly available county-by-county numbers are aimed at helping local and federal providers of food aid better reach the people who need it. 

The study also breaks down child food insecurity rates by congressional district, which could send a powerful message to Washington. The proposed House budget for 2012 includes substantial cuts to food aid programs in the 2012 budget cycle. The cuts could affect up to 350,000 recipients of the WIC program alone. The Emergency Food Assistance Program, which provides agricultural products to food banks to pass on to the poor, is also facing a proposed $50 million cut, representing one fifth of the budget for this program. 

For many who are struggling to make ends meet, the food banks may be the only place to turn. 
According to the Feeding America study, of the 17 million children living in food-insecure households nationwide, almost 4 million live in households earning more than the official poverty limit and are therefore not eligible for federal food aid programs. 

The proposed cuts, if passed, would be disastrous for many families, experts say. 

"As we deal with all the financial issues facing our nation, we can't balance our budget on the backs of poor and hungry children," said Escarra. 

Other findings from Feeding America's study: 

_In 314 counties around the country, one third of the children in the county are living in food-insecure households. 

_Nineteen counties are home to more than 100,000 children living in food-insecure households. And three of those counties have more than 300,000 food-insecure children. 

_Steele County, N.D., has the lowest number of children at risk of hunger, at 7 percent. 

_Starr and Zavala counties in Texas, near the border with Mexico, have the highest rates, with over 50 percent of the children in those counties living in food-insecure households. 

For Katherine Foronda, who spent many of her days in high school subsisting on crackers, it was a drop-out prevention program with a food aid component that helped her put hunger behind her. 

Early on in high school, with her hunger distracting her from her studies, she failed an English class. Rather than repeating the class, she was given the option of taking an afterschool life skills course, which offered meals to attendees each day and sent them home with food supplies each weekend. 

She also gained new insight into the possibilities for her own future, learning from a mentor that college was within her reach, despite her family's economic circumstances. 

With food to eat and not just a little bit of hope, she started performing better in classes, and founded a program that offered food support to the student body in her high school. She won a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she is now a sophomore. 

The program she started at her high school will enter its third year when school begins later this month. Click here for full coverage of Hunger at Home: Crisis in America

Donate here: Feeding America

THANK YOU for stopping by Underground America Inc.

Do yourself a favor. Think for yourself. Be your own person. Question everything. Stand for principle. Champion individual liberty and self-ownership where you can. Develop a strong moral code. Be kind to others. Do no harm, unless that harm is warranted. Pretty obvious stuff...but people who hold to these things in their hearts seem to be disappearing from the earth at an accelerated rate. Stay safe, my friends. Thanks for being here. 

Stay Informed:

How to Protest / End Slavery

LEAKED College Textbooks

Homeless in America

How to End Homelessness in America 


Popular posts from this blog

New York girl mutilated by rats in night attack at home

Racial profiling by stores, landlords and companies: Are we racist?

Steven Seagal accused by 2 women of rape and sexual assault