About 20 percent of America’s children are going hungry. That’s 16 million kids, according to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry campaign.
“We’re the richest country on the planet, and not a single community that’s hunger-free,” says Congressman Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts. “We should be ashamed.”
In conjunction with the nonprofit group, the Food Network has produced a one-hour documentary examining the problem of childhood hunger in America. It airs at 8 p.m. Saturday on the cable station, seen locally on Cox Cable channel 62 and in HD on channel 1062.
Narrated by Jeff Bridges, the program tells the stories of three American families facing hunger, and features parents, children, activists, educators and politicians who are working on the frontlines to end childhood hunger by 2015.
“Our nation should be able to feed our children,” says Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “And if we can’t do that, there’s not a whole lot of hope for anything else we hope to do as a people.”
According to Share Our Strength:
- More than 21 percent of American children live in poverty.
- More than 20 million kids get a free or reduced-price school lunch on an average school day.
- 10.5 million kids eligible for free or reduced-price school breakfast do not get it.
- Six out of 7 eligible kids do not get free summer meals.
Children who struggle with hunger, according to the group, have difficulties with learning and tend to be sick more often.
It's an issue that is being addressed for children here.
In Lemon Grove, the school district provides free breakfast and lunch to 100 percent of its nearly 3,800 students.
After struggling to find a successful model for a no-cost breakfast program, the school board last year approved , which was rolled out across the district at the start of the fall semester. The federally funded program provides breakfast to every child at the start of every school day.
The district also provided a with federal funds to ensure children had access to food over the summer.