One in seven people in the United States faces hunger every year, according to Feeding America. And the rates of children facing hunger are even higher, as about one in five children are lacking adequate access to food at some time during the year.
The prevalence of poverty is what causes hunger in the U.S., not food scarcity. Low-income families are often blocked from sustainable food access and they typically struggle to balance the the expenses of food with other basic necessities.
Food insecurity permeates every single county and congressional district in the country, as Feeding America reports.
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Here are a few other facts about hunger in America:
1. 16 Million American Kids Struggle With Hunger Each Year
Approximately 48.8 million Americans live in households that can't afford to garner enough nutritious food regularly. This includes 16.2 million children, and as a result, almost 1 in 5 children go hungry during the year at some point.
2. 20% Of Families Facing Food Insecurity Aren't Eligible For Government Assistance
Although 8.5 million American children are a part of government assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP) to combat hunger, the entire problem isn't addressed. About one in five families that include children who are enduring food insecurity don't qualify for the government assistance-based program. That could be due to household income and employment requirements.
3. 62% of Educators Say Students In Their Classrooms Come To School Hungry
About three out of four American educators observe that their students lack proper access to nutrition. School breakfast programs and school lunches assist in curbing some of the limits in access. However, not having access to sustainable nutrition at home can have major impacts on a child's ability to fully access their education.
4. Hungry Children Are Twice As Likely To Repeat A Grade In Elementary School
Children who lack sustainable access to food are more likely to be absent from school and receive poorer grades, which results in finding it difficult to keep up in class. Headaches, stomachaches, anxiety, depression, and a decreased ability to focus are also associated with hunger, impacting a child's educational attainment. According to research, hungry children also lack proper social skills and they often struggle behaviorally, making their school experience less than enjoyable. Those children are also more likely to drop out of high school prior to graduation.
5. Almost Half Of All Food Stamp Recipients Are Children
SNAP was created to assist with combating hunger in the U.S. The assistance-program is heavily stigmatized due to misconceptions that adults are in the program although they don't truly need it, which is a myth that's shattered by the fact that SNAP serves mostly children who are possibly lacking sustainable food access. Almost 8.5 million American children received SNAP in 2010, the latest figures available. Almost half of American children will receive SNAP benefits at some point during their adolescent lives.
You Can Help By:
- Advocating on behalf of hungry families.
- Donating to non-profits and organizations whose mission is to aid combating hunger.
- Spread awareness about food insecurity.
- Volunteering for organizations that help to combat hunger could have a tangible impact on your community.