Studies show hunger prevents children from achieving developmental and educational milestones, robbing them of the ability to meet their full potential. Food insecurity, defined as the condition of not having regular access to enough nutritious food for a healthy life, affects 16.5% of people in North Carolina and 18.5% of people in Guilford County. (Feeding America)

Guilford County Childhood Hunger Facts

67% of children in our school system are low income. That is over 49,000 children possibly needing food assistance (Guilford County Schools).

  • Guilford County has 65 Title 1 school designations for the 2018-2019 school year (Guilford County Schools).
  • A survey conducted by Gallup for the Food Research and Action Center ranked Greensboro/High Point 9th in the nation for the amount of people who say they don’t have enough money for food. This is down from 1st in the nation 1 year ago. (Food Research and Action Center).
  • Over 23% of children in Guilford County are food insecure (UNC School of Government Hunger Research).

North Carolina Childhood Hunger Facts

North Carolina ranks number 2 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 5 and number 10 in the nation for the highest rate of food insecure children under the age of 18.

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.
  • Studies show that when a child goes hungry over the weekend it will take that child 2.5 days of regular meals for them to retain what they learning. That means if a child comes to school hungry on Monday they are not ready to learn until Wednesday afternoon.
  • Children growing up in food-insecure families are vulnerable to poor health and stunted development from the earliest stages of life (Feeding America).
  • Children who are food insecure are more likely to require hospitalization, have more frequent instances of oral health problems and may be at higher risk for chronic health conditions, such as anemia and asthma (Feeding America).
  • Food insecurity among young children is associated with poorer physical quality of life, which may prevent them from fully engaging in daily activities such as school and social interaction with peers (Feeding America).
  • 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).
  • Scientists found that children who went hungry at least once in their lives were 2 1/2 times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared to those who never had to go without food (TIME magazine article).
  • Childhood hunger causes health problems, creates educational problems and leads to workforce and job readiness problems (Feeding America).
  • ​Food insecure children are more likely to be hospitalized and face higher risks of health conditions such as anemia and asthma.  There are also more likely to repeat a grade in elementary school, experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills, and have more social and behavioral problems. Click here to see the fact sheet from No Kid Hungry/Share our Strength.

To learn more about childhood hunger, please go to: