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 food to eat today. But in America, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal. For the more than 12 million kids in the U.S. facing hunger, getting the energy they need to learn and grow can be a daily challenge.

Child Hunger Facts

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Zoey

Bangor,
Maine

In the summer, I go to the lunch program to get free lunch ... it's really fun and you can make a lot of friends there. If I didn't have the lunch program, I'd probably be really, really sad.

Zoey's mom works from home, but sometimes it's still a struggle to make ends meet. So Zoey goes to her local food bank's summer lunch program where she can get free lunch — giving her the chance to be happy, healthy and just be a kid.

Zoey

Bangor,
Maine

Zoey's mom works from home, but sometimes it's still a struggle to make ends meet. So Zoey goes to her local food bank's summer lunch program where she can get free lunch — giving her the chance to be happy, healthy and just be a kid.

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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 36 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.
  • 21% of children in households at risk of hunger may be forced to rely exclusively on charitable organizations like Feeding America to make ends meet.

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 10 meals to people facing hunger — including children like Zoey.

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