School Backpack Lunch Program

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Objectives met:
3.Demonstrate awareness of the community “as a client”.
4.Identify subgroups across the life span within the population which is at high risk of illness, disability or premature death, and direct resources toward these groups.

It disturbs me that nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day (Anderson & McFarlane, 2011). In our community of Hampton Roads, more than 87,700 children are eligible to participate in reduced price or free lunch programs at area public schools (Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, 2013). Studies have shown that children who suffer from food insecurity also endure adverse effects on their physical, behavioral and mental health, development, and academic achievement (Foodbank of Virginia, 2013). Additionally, poverty has been identified as a contributing factor in malnutrition and illnesses (Anderson & McFarlane, 2011). Children residing in food-insecure households have more difficulty concentrating in school than children who live in food-secure environments. These children often encounter grade repetition, absenteeism, tardiness, anxiety, aggression, poor math scores, and have difficulty with social interaction as a result (Foodbank of Virginia, 2013). As a volunteer in my community of Virginia Beach, I have assisted in the support of the backpack program for school aged children of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. The backpack program provides backpacks full of easily prepared, child friendly meals for weekends and holidays. Primary prevention applied to this demographic encompasses general nutritional health promotion. Secondary prevention includes early detection of children who are suffering from reduced resources and who would benefit from receiving nutritional aid. Early detection of individuals in need assists in the prevention of childhood malnutrition. Tertiary prevention occurs after hunger and malnutrition have progressed and result in a compromised immune system. The purpose...
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