Each year the U.S. Census asks parents if their children
skip meals, eat reduced portions, or go hungry because
the family does not have money to buy food.
Many parents answer, “Yes.”
There are nearly 60,000 children living in these conditions across North Alabama.
Their families face stark anxieties:
- Should I buy groceries or pay the utility bill?
- Will the food last until my next paycheck?
- Even though I skipped dinner, will the kids have enough to eat tonight?
Hunger has debilitating, lifelong effects on a child’s health, cognitive development, behavior, academic achievement and ability to succeed. It undermines that child’s well-being, the stability of her family, and the prosperity of our community.
The fact that nearly one in four children in North Alabama is hungry exposes critical gaps in our food system and the consequences will affect everyone.
Crucial federal nutrition programs like free school meals or SNAP (food stamps) do much to address hunger but the aid does not meet the need and critical gaps remain.
What are these gaps?
- Children who depend upon free or reduced priced meals at school are often at risk of hunger on weekends, holidays, and over the summer.
- Children up to five years old are too young to attend school where free meals are served.
- 80% of households seeking food assistance in North Alabama report that their SNAP (food stamp) benefit lasts only 3 weeks out of the month.
- 13,872 food insecure children in North Alabama live in homes that earn too much to qualify for free school meals or SNAP (food stamps).
Together we can solve child hunger in North Alabama!