To both kids and adults alike, the words “snack time” can generate a lot of excitement. Whether it is orange slices or animal crackers, a snack seems to make any day just a little bit better. Unfortunately, for thousands of children across our region, snacks are not something they frequently have access to. Even worse, adequate daily meals and nutrition aren’t guaranteed either. But thanks to our generous supporters and partner agencies, we are able to take steps toward helping these children and fighting childhood hunger.
Each year, roughly 25% of the individuals we serve are children. The BackPack Program aims to provide assistance to one of the most vulnerable age groups in our local communities. In addition, programs that provide assistance to families with children give our youngest neighbors stable sources of food that provide a way for these children to improve other aspects of their life as well.
For example, research from Cornell University shows that “many children who do not have enough to eat wind up with diminished capacity to understand and learn. Children don’t have to be starving for this to happen. Even mild undernutrition – the kind most common among poor people in America – can do it.” By providing reliable food sources, through food pantries, soup kitchens, or the BackPack Program, our organization not only provides one of life’s most basic necessities, but it also enables children to be better abled and prepared to learn when they are at school.
According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study1, there are almost 48,000 children in our 42 county service area who are food-insecure. That’s 48,000 children who do not always know where, or when, their next meal will come from. 48,000 children in our own communities who need our support.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the programs we offer and how you can help!