For Children at Risk of Hunger, the Weekends and Holidays Aren’t All That Fun
June 9, 2010 § Leave a comment
By Wendy Heiges, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Policy
Did you know that nearly a quarter of U.S. children are food insecure? Sadly, Texas leads the nation with the highest rate of food insecurity among children – an appalling and shameful fact.
Many low-income children at risk of hunger receive school breakfasts and lunches during the week. But what happens during the weekends and school holidays? They face going without meals.
Imagine you’re a child, and you’re walking home on Friday afternoon. You’re wondering if you’ll eat dinner. You wake up on Saturday morning and wonder if you’ll eat at all. Sunday is no different.
On Monday, you arrive at school physically weakened, demoralized, and unable to concentrate on your school work.
Can you imagine this? Have you faced it yourself?
This depressing scenario is why we have to contact our Congress members and urge them to fully fund Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We should also point them to a particular legislative component: the Weekends Without Hunger Act (HR 5012).
The legislation establishes a pilot program over five years (beginning in FY 2011) providing commodities to eligible providers that can then carry out projects providing nutritious food to at-risk school children on weekends and during the holidays. The legislation helps bridge a gap in access to food for our vulnerable children.
When you take action to support Child Nutrition Reauthorization, please mention the Weekends Without Hunger Act as critical to nourishing school children during the weekends and holidays.
Children should experience childhood in the best possible ways – with the support of their parents, relatives, communities, and with strong federal programs protecting their health and development. They shouldn’t have to worry that they won’t have enough to eat. It’s just wrong.