Hunger is a problem that can affect almost anyone. Financial situations arise where the parents cannot bring in sufficient income or they get fired from their jobs. In both of these cases, it's never the child's fault yet they are the ones at risk for lifelong problems.
Hunger impacts a child’s physical well being as well as their mental health.
Although we may not be able to completely solve child hunger, more attention should be brought to this issue. More government programs should be put in place and communities should work together to help children in need.
One of the many challenges that hungry children face is the inability to concentrate and learn in the classroom. During the school year, children endure through lessons on an empty stomach which can make learning a tough task.
A study done by Community Childhood Hunger Identification showed that children who suffered from hunger displayed higher levels of anxiety, attention deficits, increased prevalence of school absence and tardiness.
I remember sitting in the classrooms and not being able to pay attention at all because I was hungry. It was especially difficult to not think about food.
According to the World Food Programme, “Hunger keeps children from making the most of the opportunities to learn and develop their minds. Even when children make it to classrooms, they cannot concentrate on lessons if they are hungry.”
Free and reduced lunch is an example of how the government has tried to resolve this problem. In some cases, students are reluctant to accept the subsidized meal because they are afraid of being looked at different by peers. Another problem with free and reduced lunch is that the meal provided is not always enough.
A better solution would be for schools to offer the same meal so that kids aren't worried about what others think, or to offer a bigger and more filling meal.
For this reason, we should strive to find better solutions to combat child hunger. Several programs exist such as free and reduced lunch and the backpack programs. However, both of these programs could be heavily upgraded to better serve children.
This will not be an issue that goes away over night, but if we work together we can help feed more children.