CHILD HUNGER IN THE UNITED STATES
LILY R OTIENO
The essay looks into the reasons why child hunger is currently a growing crisis in the United States of America. It also examines the Impact of child hunger and the possible solutions. Majority of the information gathered was from government websites and newspaper articles on this issue.
United States is a country viewed by most as a country that is self-sufficient and full of resources. Nevertheless, child hunger in this country of abundance is a true crisis According to statistics; approximately 16 million children in America live in households that lack consistent food provision. Why is a country so rich economically still dealing with an issue of hunger, moreover on children who are supposed to be the future of the nation? First we have to realize that hunger in America is not due to scarcity or lack of resources. There is plenty of food production. Most groceries stores are full of food on shelves. So why is it so hard to feed our children? Money seems to be the biggest contribution of child hunger. According to nokidhungry.org, 22 percent of children under the age of 18 live in poverty stricken households. We have determined that, there is surplus supply of food; however with a large number of people living in poverty putting food on the table is a struggle. Middle class families struggle between trading food expenses for other essential necessities. Current economic trends in America have made it so difficult for majority of households to have savings enough to cover for emergent situations. When unexpected events occur such as, illness, car problems, there is no hesitation on tapping into food money. Most Americans will cut back on food supply to ensure their car is in working condition, so as to be able to go to work to continue having an income. Poverty and hunger are very synonymous event, unfortunately children have no ability to change their financial circumstances and rely on adults. Another contribution to child hunger is accessibility and distribution. According to the U.S department of agriculture, states that have a high rate of child food hunger are those that are sparsely populated and rural. Unlike states that are mostly urban, it is more difficult for people in rural areas to find their ways to food banks, fresh food or even stores. In such circumstances, supply is scarce and most of such families live off canned foods. It is also noted that good healthy food is considerably more costly, therefore for some families a cheap less nourishing canned food is the best way to go. The impact of hunger is harmful to all of us as human beings; however it is more devastating to children. It can cause severe physical and mental developmental delays. Proper nutrition in the first few years is most vital. Good nutrition is necessary for children to enable an enabled mind to promote learning, and is extremely necessary to achieve optimum growth. Children who struggle with hunger are more likely to be sick, have slow recovery and tend to be in the hospital more often. They are also likely to easily catch infections, experience fatigue and be less vibrant. Undernourishment affects a child’s ability to concentrate and do well in school. According to a study performed by the nation al cancer institute and the University of Calgary, children who went hungry at least once in their lives were more likely to have an overall poor health. The effects of food insecurity on children are a lifelong lasting effect. What options are available to help curb this rising crisis? No child should grow up hungry; it is a sight that weakens the heart. The supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly termed as “The food stamp assistance program” is widely available and has helped reduce hunger. However the program has had funds stipulations and eligibility requirements that make it...
References: NAHO: Roadmap to End childhood hunger in America 2015. Retrieved from
United States Department of Agriculture.
Child Hunger Facts. Retrieved from:-
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