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. In the United States12 million children may not know where they will get their next meal.

Facts about child hunger in America

  • Families with children, especially single-parent families, are more likely to face hunger.
  • The number of children facing hunger in the United States rose during the pandemic - from more than 10 million children in 2019 to nearly 12 million children in 2020.
  • Black and Latino children are twice as likely to face hunger as white children because of systemic racial injustice. To end child hunger, we must address the inequalities that make it more difficult for families of color to put food on the table.
  • A family of four facing hunger may need 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 — to provide enough to eat.
  • 25% of children in households at risk of hunger may be forced to rely exclusively on hunger relief charities like Feeding America to make ends meet.
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Zoey

West Monroe,
Louisiana

We eat rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner sometimes. My mom and dad have to go without just so that us kids can have food in our stomachs.

8-year-old Zoey adores animals. And when she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian. But before Zoey can be a veterinarian, she needs to grow up healthy and strong. And for her family, that can be hard because there's not a lot of food in the fridge to feed everyone.

Zoey

West Monroe,
Louisiana

8-year-old Zoey adores animals. And when she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian. But before Zoey can be a veterinarian, she needs to grow up healthy and strong. And for her family, that can be hard because there's not a lot of food in the fridge to feed everyone.

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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. Children facing hunger are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids who missed meals 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

 

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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