The 12 Million Faces of Childhood Hunger

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Across America, kids are headed back to school, but nearly 12 million kids in America face hunger. Children need three meals a day to grow up happy, healthy, and strong but for many hunger is a daily reality. In this first episode of a three-part series exploring why food is the most important school supply, you’ll hear directly from those affected by hunger and those witnessing hunger in the classroom. You’ll also begin to understand the opportunity we have to SOLVE the problem of childhood hunger.

Resources and Mentions:

Food is the Most Important School Supply

Millions of children across the U.S. are living with hunger. The educators we work with, like Staci Okuno, seventh grade science teacher at Rialto Middle School in California, know firsthand how hunger affects kids.  “You can hear stomachs growling in the classroom,” said Okuno. “Sometimes they’re just so tired because they haven’t had anything to eat that they’ll just put their heads down and go to sleep.”  No child should go hungry in America. That’s why No Kid Hungry — with the support of our donors — is ensuring kids get three meals a day to grow up healthy, happy and strong.  A major way we do this is by supporting and investing in school meals programs, which play an essential role in feeding kids. Federal child nutrition programs, which allow students to receive breakfast, lunch or after school meals for free or pay a reduced price based on their family’s income, reach millions of children across the country. No Kid Hungry funds schools directly through grants that help them get the critical resources they need, including basic supplies and new equipment such as trucks, refrigerators, cooler bags and carts for delivering meals, as well as tools to implement innovative delivery models. We also conduct research and provide guidance and advocate for laws that make school meals available to more children.  In addition to lifting some of the financial burden from families, school meals give children access to healthy food that powers their day, sets them up for success in the classroom and ultimately helps them thrive.  

$2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

This revelatory book was the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the 2016 Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, a finalist for The Society of the Midland Authors Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year, and on shortlist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards.

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