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End Childhood Hunger

When kids are hungry, they struggle to learn. When kids don't learn, they struggle in life. Still, 16 million American kids are at risk of going hungry every day. That’s 1 out of every 5 kids. We can and we must do better.

The recession is over, but child poverty and child hunger are still crippling our country.  Although the official measures indicate that the economy is getting better, the July 2015 Kids Count Report shows that around 3 million more American children are living below the poverty line now compared to the beginning of the 2008 recession.

Congress is deciding the future of hunger programs right now.

As part of the federal budget debating happening right now, members of Congress are debating funding levels for programs like SNAP. In recent years, SNAP has borne the brunt of spending cuts, and Fair Share is working not only to prevent any additional cuts, but to educate our political leaders about the importance of restoring funding.

Commonly known as food stamps, SNAP is one of the most effective and efficient programs for ending childhood hunger and helping to break the cycle of poverty.  This program provides timely, targeted, and temporary benefits to low-income Americans so that they can buy groceries. In a typical month in 2014, SNAP helped more than 46.5 million low-income Americans afford a nutritionally adequate diet; nearly 70% of SNAP participants are in families with children.

Meanwhile, Congress is also facing the need to re-authorize critical child nutrition programs like the School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Summer Meals. These programs provide nutritionally balanced meals to qualified children every school day and during the summers. In 2013-2014 academic year, over 32 million children get their daily lunch through the program, over 13 million children participate in the school breakfast program, and nearly 1 in 6 low-income children receive summer meals.

One in five kids don’t get the food they need.

When kids are hungry, they struggle to learn. When kids don't learn, they struggle in life. Still, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s most recent research, 16 million American kids -- in big cities and small towns, in blue states and red states – live in food insecure households, where they are at risk of going hungry on a daily basis.

The recession is over, but child poverty and child hunger are still crippling our country.  Although the official measures indicate that the economy is getting better, the July 2015 Kids Count Report shows that around 3 million more American children are living below the poverty line now compared to the beginning of the recession.

Every child deserves a shot at a decent life, which includes having enough food to eat. We can and we must do better.

Ending childhood hunger is an investment in our economic future

Feeding kids is the right thing to do, period. It’s also the right thing to do for our economy.  We know that it is impossible for children who are hungry to concentrate on learning or be healthy enough to regularly attend school. A critical piece of investing in our country’s future is to make sure that children and their families have enough to eat. Plus, it costs more to ignore the problem than it does to solve it.  According to a report by the Center for American Progress and Brandeis University, “hunger costs our nation at least $167.5 billion due to the combination of lost economic productivity per year, more expensive public education because of the rising costs of poor education outcomes, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity to keep families fed.”

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