30 Nov Food Insecurity’s Negative Effects on Children
I cannot help but to think about how fast the year flew by! With children looking forward to the holiday season, unfortunately, many children will not have enough to eat. And while school is still in session, studies show that hunger impairs learning.
According to nokidhungry.org, three out of four public school teachers stated that students regularly come to school hungry and ” 81% say it happens at least once a week.” This may be due to the fact that, “This year, the United States reached a painful milestone … For the first time ever, over half the public school students in the United States are from low-income families”.
The data clearly shows that hunger and food insecurity eventually lead to more significant problems when students are trying to learn. “The problem of hunger leads to all these other problems. It has a snowball effect. These students fall behind and they never really catch up,” states Tony Notarides, an elementary school teacher.
When children eat breakfast, research shows they:
■ Perform better academically
■ Show less disruptive student behavior
■ Take fewer trips to the school nurse
■ Reduce their chances of childhood obesity
At Homefirst we understand food scarcity is a serious issue that affects many people in our community. To help combat the problem, Homefirst launched a Community Garden in Plainfield, in 2010, and a Community Garden in Scotch Plains, in 2011, to increase our client’s access to fresh herbs and vegetables. We also provide a list with several Food Pantries to facilitate the sharing of resources. (View Food Pantry List)
We can only hope that our efforts will start a chain reaction of acts of kindness and compassion to put an end to hunger.
Debbie-Ann Anderson – Executive Director