Hunger is Devastating

Hunger affects everything from healthy growth to the ability to learn in school to emotional and psychological health.  What’s more, children who have experienced hunger continue to lag behind their peers, even into adulthood. 

  • Hungry children do not perform well in school and studies show that hunger deeply impacts a child’s ability to learn and retain complicated tasks.
  • Hunger makes children more susceptible to illness and disease.  It stunts healthy growth and it keeps kids bodies from fighting off infections.
  • Hungry children also can’t develop emotionally.  Hungry kids are at a much higher risk for behavioral problems, anti-social behavior and even violence. 

Hunger Is Everywhere

Despite its devastating effects, child hunger is all too common.  Nearly one in four children will be affected by hunger even here in the United States.   

  • The World Food Program estimates that 150 million children are hungry and malnourished making hunger one of the leading killer of children worldwide.
  • More than 17 million children in the US don’t get enough to eat.  That’s nearly one in four American kids.
  • In Washington State, that means that over 300,000 children are suffering from hunger today.

Hunger is Growing

There is no dispute - more children than ever before are going hungry in Washington and the United States.

  • Hunger was up 24 percent in Washington in 2010 and many more families are teetering on the brink of hunger. 
  • In these tough economic times, food benefits and programs are facing huge cutbacks – and record high demand.  Food banks in Washington State reported some of their highest demand ever in 2010-2011.
  • 20.1 million children benefit from SNAP (food stamps).
  • 19 million kids get a free or reduced-price school lunch on an average school day – but less than half of those kids will be able to access free lunch in the summer months.

Sources: Children's Alliance; Share Our Strength;World Food Programme

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