Many people, when they think about the issue of hunger, think about it in a very remote sense. It’s an issue that feels massive and far away from home. While it’s true that hunger is incredibly prevalent in developing nations around the globe – it’s also right here, in our own neighborhoods, schools and towns. And there’s a lot that we can do to help.

In case you missed it, as of this year, every single FEED product purchased provides school meals in America, in addition to our usual global giveback through the UN World Food Programme! To give meals in America, we partnered with Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry, a campaign that uses practical solutions – such as helping schools launch breakfast and afterschool meal programs – to eradicate childhood hunger in the U.S. You can read all about that partnership in this post.

Here in the United States, giving school meals to fight childhood hunger does not follow the exact same formula as the giving we engage in globally. Often, school lunches here take on “the other hunger problem” common in many  food-insecure families: hunger for nutrition.

It has become increasingly expensive for lower-income families to eat healthfully. Farmers have been subsidized into single-crop production for corn and soy, which are ground into the base of processed foods. The price of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased. This has created compounded hunger problems unique to our country – childhood obesity, food scarcity and food insecurity on a large scale.

This modern affliction was embraced by the legendary arms of former First Lady Michelle Obama. She gave schools a makeover in 2010 with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which funded child nutrition programs and set new grade-specific nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.  Every school day, this program provides low-cost or free lunch to over 30 million children!

If we can feed our hungry children at school – regardless of whether that school is here or somewhere across the ocean – we can nourish bodies and minds.

Healthy food feeds healthy minds. The Brookings Institute found that in years when a school contracts with a healthy lunch company, all students at the school score better on end-of-year academic tests. And the students who qualified for reduced-price or free lunches? Their test score increases are about 40 percent larger than the students who were food secure!

When we help provide healthy school lunch access to school children, we are securing bodies and minds. We are supporting our todays and – so importantly – our tomorrows! 

Want to do something? You can shop FEED products – every single one makes an impact right here in the U.S. – but you can also:

 

Post contributed by Stephanie Harcrow

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