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 ›
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.
Learn more about important programs that are helping families in need ›
Summer Food Service Programs
SNAP® Application Assistance Program