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Tag ‘ childhood hunger ’

Sequester Impact

Over 600,000 low-income women and young children will lose WIC benefits that enable them to buy basic grocery items like milk and bread, because of the government sequester on Friday.

The sequester scheduled to go into effect this Friday will cut critical funding for nutrition assistance programs – programs that protect our most vulnerable children and seniors and that support our nation’s food banks. About 600,000 low-income women, infants, and children would be kicked off of the WIC program; programs like Meals on Wheels would have to cut as many as 19 million meals to seniors; and charities like the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano would lose TEFAP funding for the storage and distribution of food at a time when the demand for food assistance is higher than ever and food banks are stretched thin meeting that demand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schools See Increased Need

We all know that the economy continues to flounder and despite reports of economic recovery, there are still many families that are struggling to put food on the table.  We see this first-hand when more people come to our distributions and sign up for CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps).  Another indicator of this disheartening trend is the increasing number of school children who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch.  This number is of particular interest to me as I coordinate the Farm 2 Kids program, a program that provides free produce to children in low-income after school programs.  As I keep a close eye on these statistics I am noticing that sadly more schools are becoming eligible for Farm 2 Kids and of those that are eligible, their percentages are getting higher and higher.  This has been a glaring signal that the economy is hitting our children harder than anyone else.

Today, 1 in 4 American children are at risk of hunger.  It is because of this trend that the Food Bank is now expanding service at the very neediest schools to provide produce for all children, not just those in the after school program.   Hungry children cannot focus and be successful in school, much less grow to be healthy adults. For that reason the Food Bank hopes to continue expanding its service to schools to combat this issue.  For more information regarding free-reduced lunch percentages here is an article with details.  Visit our website to find out more about the Farm 2 Kids program.

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