Childhood Hunger – Philadelphia, PA

Childhood hunger in North Philadelphia more than triples, By Alfred Lubrano, September 18, 2017, Philadelphia Inquirer: “Stephanie Sakho believes that people who work should have fuller refrigerators than she does. The divorced, certified nursing assistant from Southwest Philadelphia puts in 40 hours a week. But even with her salary and a $300 monthly allotment of food stamps, there isn’t always enough to feed her 10-year-old daughter and year-old son. ‘I think people would be surprised that there are kids in the city not getting enough to eat,’ said Sakho, 28, who makes $13 an hour, near the poverty line for a family of three. ‘I’m working, but people who see me don’t know the refrigerator is empty.’  Sakho’s ‘deeply alarming’ plight is becoming more common, said Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities and a professor of health management and policy at School of Public Health at Drexel University…”

Summer Meal Programs – Minnesota

Summer Eats app helps Minnesota kids take bite out of hunger, By Shannon Prather, June 28, 2017, Star Tribune: “For kids who rely on free and reduced-price school lunches, summer break can be a hungry time. But there are nearly 700 sites across the state serving free, healthy meals to kids this summer — no reservations required — and a new smartphone app called Summer Eats Minnesota is making it easier for children and teens to find them. One additional perk of the app: It lists the menu at many locales…”

Pediatric Hunger Screening – Delaware

Delaware pediatricians now screen for hunger, By Alonzo Small, May 1, 2017, News Journal: “Delaware pediatric health care practices believe the answer to ending food insecurity in Delaware is asking the right questions. Along with general inquiries about vaccines and other medical issues designed to pick up areas of medial concern, many family doctors and pediatricians now screen for a far simpler, more direct question: Do you have enough to eat..?”

Teen Hunger in the US

  • 13 percent of U.S. reports household hunger. How do teens cope?, By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, September 12, 2016, PBS NewsHour: “Teenagers as young as 13 all too often play an active role in feeding their families, many taking jobs when they can or selling their possessions to help raise money for food, researchers found in a detailed look at hunger among adolescents. In extreme cases, teens resorted to crime and sexual favors in exchange for nourishment.  Yet, according to the research, many cringed at the thought of using a local food bank…”
  • Some hungry teens turn to crime, sex for food, By Ryan W. Miller, September 13, 2016, USA Today: “Shoplifting, stealing and selling their bodies for sex. When hunger hits, some desperate teens in the U.S. are turning to extreme options to provide food for their families, says new research released Monday from Feeding America and the Urban Institute.  Two new reports, ‘Bringing Teens to the Table’ and ‘Impossible Choices,’ document how widespread hunger is afflicting American teenagers, a demographic often overlooked in conversations about food security. About one in five children under 18 — including 6.8 million youths ages 10 to 17 — live in a household with limited or uncertain access to food, the research shows…”
  • The hidden epidemic of teen hunger, By Laura Bliss, September 13, 2016, The Atlantic: “A few years back, Susan J. Popkin was investigating sexual-health interventions in public housing in Washington D.C. The veteran housing and poverty researcher got wind of stories from parents that some teenagers in the community were essentially trading sex for food. ‘We were stunned to hear it,’ she says.  The problem of child hunger is a vast one—one in five American children live in food-insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But most of the resources and research are directed toward younger children; adolescents at the upper end of the age spectrum often get overlooked…”

Student Homelessness – New York, Minnesota

  • Where nearly half of pupils are homeless, school aims to be teacher, therapist, even Santa, By Elizabeth A. Harris, June 6, 2016, New York Times: “There are supposed to be 27 children in Harold Boyd IV’s second-grade classroom, but how many of them will be there on a given day is anyone’s guess.  Since school began in September, five new students have arrived and eight children have left. Two transferred out in November. One who started in January was gone in April. A boy showed up for a single day in March, and then never came back. Even now, in the twilight of the school year, new students are still arriving, one as recently as mid-May…”
  • Amid recovery, many families struggle with homelessness, By Kristi Marohn, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “In 2004, then-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty set an ambitious goal for the state: End homelessness by 2010.  But 12 years later, despite the bold pronouncement, the problem of homelessness continues to plague the state, including the St. Cloud area.  Despite the economic recovery and lower unemployment, Central Minnesota families are still struggling with incomes that have stayed flat since the Great Recession. Meanwhile, a tight rental market has pushed the cost of housing beyond the reach of many…”
  • Child homelessness can have long-term consequences, By Stephanie Dickrell, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “There are strong moral reasons to end homelessness and its consequences. But there are economic incentives for society as well. Children who grow up in homelessness may experience long-term effects on behavior, employability, relationships and brain development. As those children grow into adulthood, society ends up paying for the consequences through law enforcement, the criminal justice system and social service programs…”
  • Facing summer on an empty stomach, By Vicki Ikeogu, June 4, 2016, St. Cloud Times: “June 2, 2016. The day area school-aged kids could not wait for.  Yearbook signings. No more homework. Freedom.  The last day of school can bring a whirlwind of emotions for students. But for thousands in the St. Cloud school district, summer vacation can mean anxiety. Worry. Hunger.  Because without the breakfast and lunch provided during the school day, many kids are facing a summer filled with limited access to nutritious and filling meals…”

Childhood Poverty Screening

Pediatricians urged to screen for poverty, By Brie Zeltner, March 9, 2016, Cleveland Plain Dealer: “In the fall, the nation’s largest pediatricians’ group urged its members to ask their patients if they regularly had enough to eat or ever went hungry. Now, the same group, the American Academy of Pediatrics, is asking its 64,000 members to pose another question during doctor visits: ‘Do you have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?’ It’s a simple way doctors can screen for poverty, the group says, and there are many reasons why pediatricians should care if their patients are poor…”

Childhood Hunger

Pediatricians are asked to join fight against childhood hunger, By Catherine Saint Louis, October 23, 2015, New York Times: “The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday urged pediatricians to screen all patients for food insecurity and to refer parents to appropriate agencies so children do not go hungry. Sixteen million children live in homes where there is consistently not enough food, according to the Agriculture Department. Those children get sick more often, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently than peers who are adequately nourished.  So-called food insecurity has also been linked to behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence…”

School Food Programs

Schools becoming the ‘last frontier’ for hungry kids, By Marisol Bello, April 5, 2015, USA Today: “America’s schools are no longer just a place for students to learn their ABCs. They are also increasingly where children eat their three squares. The classroom has become a dining room as more children attending public schools live in poverty. More than half of students in public schools — 51% — were in low-income families in 2013, according to a study by the Southern Education Foundation. The number of low-income children in public schools has been persistent and steadily rising over the past several decades. In 1989, 32% of children in public schools lived in poverty, the foundation says…”

Children Receiving SNAP Benefits

  • Almost twice as many kids helped by food stamps than before recession, By Olivia Winslow, January 28, 2015, Newsday: “The number of children receiving benefits from food stamps in 2014 is nearly twice as high as the number receiving such assistance before the start of the recession in 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday. The bureau found that 22 percent of all children under 18 — about 1 in 5 — received food stamps in 2014, or an estimated 16 million, compared with ‘roughly’ 9 million children — about 1 in 8 — in 2007, before the start of the 18-month recession that officially ended in June 2009…”
  • 1 in 5 American kids rely on food stamps, By Aimee Picchi, January 28, 2015, CBS News: “America is a global leader on a number of fronts, including having the largest economy in the world. But here is one area where the U.S., given its general affluence, would rather not distinguish itself: It has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the industrialized world. Even as the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, 1 in 5 children are on food stamps, the U.S. Census said on Wednesday. Before the housing crash, 1 in 8 received federal food assistance…”
  • Census: 1 in 5 children on food stamps, Associated Press, January 28, 2015, Washington Post: “Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008. Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Food stamp cuts could send more to Minn. food shelves, Associated Press, September 16, 2013, Crookston Times: “Officials and advocates for the needy in central Minnesota say cuts to the food stamp program could have harsh effects on many low-income families, while area food shelves and other groups say they expect to see an increase in the number of people they serve. The federal farm bill, which funds food stamps and nutrition programs, will expire at the end of the month if Congress fails to renew it. In July, the House passed a new version of the bill, but it didn’t include foot stamps and the bill is now stalled. An earlier, unsuccessful, House bill included more than $20 billion in cuts, while a Senate version passed in May proposes $4 billion in cuts…”
  • Proposed food stamp cuts put most vulnerable at risk, By Gary Gately, September 17, 2013, Youth Today: “One in five Americans said they lacked enough money at times in the past year to buy the food they or their families needed, a new Gallup poll shows. Little wonder, then, that critics say a Republican bill to slash food stamp spending by $40 billion over the next 10 years would prove devastating to families struggling to put food on the table.“It’s awful; I don’t have enough words to express what a terrible, unprecedented slashing of the safety net this is,” Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs, told Youth Today…”

Summer Food Programs

  • In rural Tennessee, a new way to help hungry children: A bus turned bread truck, By Eli Saslow, July 6, 2013, Washington Post: “It was the first day of summer in a place where summers had become hazardous to a child’s health, so the school bus rolled out of the parking lot on its newest emergency route. It passed by the church steeples of downtown and curved into the blue hills of Appalachia. The highway became two lanes. The two lanes turned to red dirt and gravel. On the dashboard of the bus, the driver had posted an aphorism. ‘Hunger is hidden,’ it read, and this bus had been dispatched to find it…”
  • Some schools must scramble to feed low-income kids during summer, By Dalina Castellanos, July 4, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “Mylene Guzman walked her three daughters through the gate at Hollingworth Elementary School in West Covina straight to the cafeteria. The girls weren’t late to summer school classes, nor were they participating in any of the Rowland Unified School District’s theater or art programs. The trio were there for lunch — pizza and cherry-flavored applesauce. Rowland Unified is participating in the federal Summer Food Service Program, which allows Guzman, who lives within the district’s boundaries, to feed her daughters for free…”

School Meals Programs – West Virginia

W.Va. tries to tackle childhood hunger and obesity through expanded school meals, Associated Press, April 22, 2013, Washington Post: “In West Virginia’s Mason County, children walk to the cafeteria together so they can start the day’s lessons with a side of whole grain waffles, cereal, fruit and milk. Here, among the coal mines and farms so familiar across Appalachia, the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is taken literally as a way to tackle two problems: improving achievement in a state that ranks 47th nationally in public education, according to an annual study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and improving health in a state where federal officials say 29 percent of high schoolers are obese…”

Child Hunger – Greece

More children in Greece are going hungry, By Liz Alderman, April 17, 2013, New York Times: “As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains. ‘He had eaten almost nothing at home,’ Mr. Nikas said, sitting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a working-class suburb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skittered across the playground. He confronted Pantelis’s parents, who were ashamed and embarrassed but admitted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their savings were gone, and they were living on rations of pasta and ketchup…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Study: Food stamps aid children, By Jens Manuel Krogstad, January 22, 2013, Des Moines Register: “An Iowa State University economist hopes a new method to measure how food stamps affect hunger and health will influence Congress this year as lawmakers decide funding for a program used by more than 46 million people. A study using the new technique found that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, reduces hunger among eligible children by at least 20 percent and poor health by at least 35 percent. It also found that food stamps don’t increase obesity rates, and may even decrease them…”
  • Report questions food stamps’ nutritional value, Reuters, January 17, 2013, Chicago Tribune: “A report by a panel of experts released on Thursday questioned whether the U.S. government’s food stamp program adequately provides for healthy diets for the more than 47 million low-income people who rely on the benefit. The report by the National Academy of Sciences found that the aid for families to pay for groceries, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, does not factor in many barriers to finding affordable, nutritious food by inner-city shoppers…”

Children and Food Insecurity

  • End of school means days of hunger for some local kids, By James Fuller, June 6, 2012, Daily Herald: “‘No more pencils, no more books’ is part of the familiar school’s-out-for-summer chant. But when classrooms close for the summer, so do school cafeterias and their free and reduced lunch and breakfast programs. For thousands of area children, that means a harsh summer lesson about hunger and improper nutrition. A study by Feeding America, a hunger relief charity, shows there are more than 400,000 children in Cook and the collar counties who spend at least some time hungry or not receiving proper nutrition. One in five children in the 13 northern Illinois counties face hunger on a regular basis. Northern Illinois Food Bank officials say that problem becomes more acute in the summer months when school food is not a guaranteed part of a child’s day…”
  • Nearly one in five Northland children classified ‘food insecure’, By John Lundy, June 5, 2012, Duluth News Tribune: “One out of every five Douglas County children doesn’t get enough food to support an active, healthy lifestyle, a report released on Monday said. Nationwide, one of every four children is ‘food insecure’ in more than 1,000 counties, said the study by Feeding America, a nonprofit focused on domestic hunger relief. Although the numbers aren’t that dire in the Northland, the study still shows that 18.6 percent of children in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin are food insecure, according to a news release on Tuesday from Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. That includes 20.6 percent in Douglas County and 18.2 percent – 6,990 children – in St. Louis County…”
  • 1 in 4 children at hunger risk, report says, By Gary Scharrer and Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, June 5, 2012, San Antonio Express-News: “More than one in four Texas children, or 27.1 percent, were at risk of going hungry in 2010, according to the report released Monday by Feeding America. More than 118,000 Bexar County children, 26.8 percent, live in food insecure households, the report found. Texas lawmakers must involve entire communities to end childhood hunger, said Bee Moorhead of the interfaith group Texas Impact…”

Poverty and Nutrition

The nutrition puzzle, February 18, 2012, The Economist: “In Eldorado, one of São Paulo’s poorest and most misleadingly named favelas, some eight-year-old boys are playing football on a patch of ground once better known for drug gangs and hunger. Although they look the picture of health, they are not. After the match they gather around a sack of bananas beside the pitch. ‘At school, the kids get a full meal every day,’ explains Jonathan Hannay, the secretary-general of Children at Risk Foundation, a local charity. ‘But in the holidays they come to us without breakfast or lunch so we give them bananas. They are filling, cheap, and they stimulate the brain.’ Malnutrition used to be pervasive and invisible in Eldorado. Now there is less of it and, equally important, it is no longer hidden. ‘It has become more visible-so people are doing something about it…'”

Food Assistance and Immigrant Families – Kansas

Kansas Gov. Brownback to review state’s food stamp policy, By Laura Bauer, January 25, 2012, Kansas City Star: “Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that he would review a new policy that has eliminated food stamps for hundreds of low-income children who are U.S. citizens but whose parents are illegal immigrants. The Star reported Sunday how the new way the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services counts income for food stamp eligibility has affected families across Kansas. Since the new policy went into effect Oct. 1, more than 1,000 households have lost their food stamps. Many said they had relied heavily on benefits provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Brownback told reporters Tuesday that he would look into the new policy and talk to SRS workers in the field to see how families have been affected. Advocates for low-income families were encouraged by Brownback’s words, although the governor’s spokeswoman said no changes are planned…”

Food Assistance and Immigrant Families – Kansas

Kansas slashes food aid for children of illegal immigrants, By Laura Bauer, January 22, 2012, Kansas City Star: “Pedro moved to the Kansas City area about 13 years ago and has held the same job for 11. Though he sometimes struggles to pay bills, he knows most people think he should receive no public aid. He’s an illegal immigrant. He doesn’t deserve handouts. He understands that. ‘I’ve never asked for anything for myself,’ said Pedro, who didn’t want his last name used to protect his family. ‘Never. I just work. Work hard.’ A new debate swirling around Kansas, though, isn’t about Pedro. It’s about two of his three children. They were born here, and one day they will have driver’s licenses and the right to vote, just like any other U.S. citizen. Early last year, when they needed food assistance, they got it. Pedro’s family received nearly $300 a month in food stamps. Enough to buy milk, eggs and meat, fruit and yogurt. Now, they get nothing. Neither do hundreds of other Kansas families who, like Pedro’s, are a mix of undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens. At a time when Gov. Sam Brownback has vowed to reduce child poverty, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services – a state agency the governor controls – made a policy change that eliminated food stamps for hundreds of low-income U.S. children whose parents are illegal immigrants. For more households, benefits were reduced…”

International Food Aid for Children

WHO to recommend improving food aid for malnourished children under 5, Associated Press, October 13, 2011, Washington Post: “The World Health Organization said Thursday it plans to recommend tighter nutritional standards in food aid for young children, a move activists say is necessary to improve donations from countries such as the United States. The new guidelines are likely to make food aid more expensive in the short term, but the improved formulas will be more effective at reducing moderate malnutrition in children under the age of 5, the head of WHO’s nutrition department told The Associated Press…”

US Food Insecurity

  • Study confirms child hunger is a growing problem in rural areas, By Laura Bauer, August 24, 3011, Kansas City Star: “Robert Krogsdale says his six daughters have never missed dinner or gone hungry. But look at what the Bates County, Mo., man and his wife, Reanna, have to do to make that happen: They use food stamps. They buy bread and fruit on sale. They rely on cheap staples like spaghetti. For Christmas, his parents give them packages of beef they use throughout the year. And once a month, the Krogsdales drive 17 miles from their rural home into Butler, Mo. – sometimes in the family’s 12-passenger, 12 miles-per-gallon van – to load up on groceries at a food pantry. ‘I make sure they have their plates and mouths full,’ Krogsdale said of their six daughters, as well as two stepsons who are with the family on the weekends. ‘If it boils down to I don’t eat, it’s real simple.’ Often, when people think of the nation’s hungry kids, the image is of families in urban-core neighborhoods. In rural areas, where farmers harvest crops and ranchers raise livestock, kids do all right – or at least that was the perception of many…”
  • Hunger a problem for Southwest Michigan children, new study shows, By Chris Fusciardi, August 26, 2011, Kalamazoo Gazette: “More than one in five children under the age of 18 in Kalamazoo County live in households that are struggling with hunger, ac­cording to a new study. The study, ‘Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011,’ found that 21.5 percent of children in Kalamazoo County are struggling with hunger, a figure that was determined using 2009 U.S. Census data including median family income and childhood poverty rates. The study was released Thurs­day by the Food Bank of South Central Michigan and the national nonprofit agency Feeding America…”
  • Food Bank: 1-in-4 Midland County kids hungry; some West Texas areas much higher, By Kathleen Thurber, August 25, 2011, Midland Reporter-Telegram: “More than one in three children suffer from food insecurity in the 22-county area served by the West Texas Food Bank, according to a report released Thursday. Data released by Feeding America shows 24.8 percent of children in Midland County deal with hunger issues. And while that’s lower than the 34.9 percent of children in the West Texas area who are hungry, it still is above the national average of 23.2 percent, according to the report…”