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Responding to Child Hunger

SPRING 2014

Responding to Child HungerOne in four kids in our state does not have adequate, nutritious food. Thirty-six percent of people coming to food banks are children.

The statistics are alarming, but not nearly as devastating as the effects of hunger on children.

A child who doesn’t have enough to eat does not learn as well, gets sick more often, is less likely to graduate from high school, and less likely to break out of the cycle of poverty as an adult.

Childhood hunger is a problem that’s solvable. Northwest Harvest is fighting to end childhood hunger by:

  • Providing nutritious food free to more than 360 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools throughout the state.
  • Our Three Squares backpack program in 47 schools that provides food for kids to take home on the weekends.
  • A new summer project to provide extra help during a hungry time of year for children.

Summer is a time most of us think about vacations, camping and picnics, but too many kids are thinking about where their next meal will come from. Only about 1 in 10 kids who get free and reduced-price school meals receive summer meals. Food banks are challenged to fill the gap.

“A summer program will provide more kid-friendly, nutritious foods to food banks for families with school-age children.” said Eu-wanda Eagans, Chief Operating Officer. “We are launching this August as a pilot program, thanks to a generous gift from two donors, and hope to expand as additional funding is available.”

“Investing in healthy children is critical,” Eagans added. “Summertime should not be a hungry time for our kids.”