More than 443,040 children in North Carolina are food insecure (Feeding America).
The North Carolina food insecurity rate is 15.9% and the child food insecurity rate is 24.6% (Food Shuttle).
The official poverty line for a family of four is just over $2,300 per month. That’s roughly enough to pay for only housing and childcare, leaving nothing for transportation, food, health care, taxes, or debt payments. Inadequate wages force families to choose between rent and food, between clothes and gas, between child care and health care, and other brutal trade-offs that undermine their ability to thrive. (NC Budget & Tax Center’s Living Income Standard)
What Hunger Does to Children
Over 16 million children in America are struggling with hunger. Even one missed meal can harm a child’s development. Click here to watch a video from the Dr. Oz show on hunger in children.
Child food insecurity has also been associated with psychosocial dysfunction, psychiatric distress and poor academic performance. Hungry children are more likely to struggle in school, repeat a grade, receive special education services or require mental health counseling. Childhood depression, anxiety, irritability, aggression, and suicidal ideation have all been linked to food insecurity. Not having enough to eat is a source of shame. Worry or uncertainty about food consumes mental energy and contributes to the toxic brew of stress fomented by poverty. (NC Poverty Research Fund)
Childhood hunger had broad range negative effects on a child’s health, cognition, academics, emotion and social well-being. Click here to see the fact sheet from No Kid Hungry/Share our Strength.
Food insecure children may be at greater risk of truancy and school tardiness. When they are in school, children who are food insecure may experiences increases in an array of behavior problems including: fighting, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings, and bullying (Feeding America).
To learn more about childhood hunger, please go to: