CHILD HUNGER

While hunger, food insecurity and poverty affect people of all ages, a major focus of the Second Harvest Food Bank is on childhood hunger. Consider these statistics:

  • 44% of children in East Central Indiana are food insecure
  • 54% of the children in our service area participate in the school lunch program
  • 49% of the children in our service area participate in the school breakfast program

Children in East Central Indiana

Food insecure 44%
Participate in school lunch program 54%
Participate in school breakfast program 49%

PROGRAMS

Right now, these children may go to bed hungry tonight which is a problem that, together, we can prevent.
Second Harvest provides a variety of programs to assist with child hunger including:

School Pantries
Food 4 Kids BackPack Program
Mobile School Pantries

HOW THE PROGRAMS WORK

Food 4 Kids is geared towards meeting the needs of hungry children by providing nutritious and easy to prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations when other resources are not available.

The Food 4 Kids program works with sponsors and partners to administer cost effective and beneficial food for children.

What’s in the sack?
  • Typically the sack is 5lbs or less of nonperishable, limited or no-prep time foods.
  • 8 (+/-) food items per bag
  • $4.00 (+/1) per bag
  • Mix it up to meet the children’s needs

The program requires that distributions be made a minimum of once a month during the school year. Most programs provide additional distributions for vacations and holidays. Distribution to the whole school is encouraged depending on the school’s needs.

The mission of the School Pantry program is to help alleviate child hunger in East Central Indiana through the provision of food to children and their families at school. Second Harvest is dedicated to ending hunger in East Central Indiana and School-Based Pantries make staple grocery items available to students and their household family members at no cost.  Through easy to operate School-Based Pantries, SHFB helps to fill the gap of food needed. This program gives a family’s students the resources they need to lessen anxiety of where their next meal is coming from and turn their attention toward succeeding in school.

  • $6.00 helps feed a family for a week
  • $24.00 helps feed a family for a month

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Child hunger programs are a team effort. To run effectively, it’s imperative to have community support in the way of funding and with volunteers to help organize distribution to the children. If you are interested in helping with a child hunger program, contact Sarah Rivera at srivera@curehunger.org to learn more about the opportunities in your community!

CHILDREN THAT ARE FOOD INSECURE EXPERIENCE A VARIETY OF ADVERSE EFFECTS INCLUDING:

Physical Health:

Hungry children suffer from two to four times as many individual health problems as low-income children whose families do not experience food shortages. Problems can include weight loss, fatigue, headaches, irritability, frequent colds, iron-deficiency, and anemia.

Child Development:

Food insecurity puts children in jeopardy of developmental risk. Developmental risk is characterized with a slow or unusual development of children in areas such as speaking, behavior, and movement, which increases the likelihood of later problems with attention, learning, and social interaction.

School Readiness and Achievement:

Children from food insecure households are more likely to struggle in their academic development and be ill and absent from school. Food insecurity has a negative impact on children’s ability to learn in school and can lead to poor concentration.

Behavior and Mental Health:

Anxiety, negative feelings about self-worth, and hostility towards the outside world can result from food insecurity. Food insecurity has also been shown to be associated with suicide and depressive disorders among 15 to 16 year old children.