While food insecurity is harmful to everyone, it is particularly devastating to children. Proper nutrition is critical to a child’s development. Not having enough of the right kinds of food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity.
Hunger doesn’t just hurt a child’s ability to learn and participate in school. It has a real impact on a child’s health and well-being. Children who are hungry are more likely to suffer from poor health, be hospitalized and require long inpatient stays, suffer from ADHD and are more likely to commit suicide as a teen.
Consider what it means for our region when nearly 3 out of every 4 students enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools are facing hunger as an obstacle to reaching their fullest potential. When hunger threatens the future of a child it threatens the future of our region as well.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is part of many programs which provide food to children in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals and fun activities to children ages 18 and under when school is not in session. The Child and Adult Care Food Program is a federal program that offers nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults at child care centers, daycare homes, adult daycare centers, after-school programs and emergency shelters.