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Hunger deprives our kids of more than just food

It’s a simple fact: A child’s chance for a bright tomorrow starts with getting enough healthy food to eat today. But in America, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal. For the 13 million kids in the U.S. facing hunger, getting the energy they need to learn and grow can be a day-in, day-out challenge.

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Real Story of Hunger: Meet Zoey

Zoey is 11 and lives in Maine. Like all kids, Zoey deserves a life where she doesn’t have to worry if she will have enough to eat. Zoey can grow into a healthy adult thanks in part to free breakfast and lunch programs at school and a summer lunch program, made possible by the Feeding America network. But many children in America don’t have access to the nutritious foods they need.

Watch Zoey's story ›

What happens when a child faces hunger?

Kids who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.

Children facing hunger may struggle in school — and beyond. They are more likely to:

Repeat a grade in elementary school

Experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills

Have more social and behavioral problems

Children struggling with hunger come from families who are struggling, too

Children facing hunger often grow up in a family where a parent or parents also face hunger.

  • A family of four facing hunger may be in need of 34 additional meals a month simply because they don’t have money to buy enough food.
  • 84% of households Feeding America serves report buying the cheapest food — instead of healthy food — in order to provide enough to eat.
  • 20% of children in households at risk of hunger rely exclusively on charitable organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet.

For more data and information, download our Child Hunger Fact Sheet ›

You help us keep children healthy every single day

The Feeding America network serves more than 12 million children in America. In addition to accessing food through traditional food pantries, the Feeding America network also offers specialized programs to help kids get the food they need when they need it most.

On Weekends
BackPack Program
After School
Kids Cafe®
During Summers
Summer Food Service Programs
At Home
School Pantry Program
SNAP® Application Assistance Program
Learn more about important programs that are helping families in need ›

Setting up children for a lifetime of success

We have a responsibility to the next generation to give them every opportunity to succeed — which in turn will strengthen our communities and our country. That’s why feeding children facing hunger is a main priority of Feeding America, but we can’t do it without your help.

Give to Feeding America today

For every dollar donated, the Feeding America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger — including children like Zoey.

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