News Brief 469: Childhood Hunger in America

Writer: Carmina Vital

Date: March 30, 2014

USA Today published an article by Mary Bowerman on March 28, 2014 that addresses America’s epidemic on childhood hunger. The article in intended to bring awareness to our communities that we have children going to bed hungry and going to school hungry and that there is something that can be done to help reduce childhood hunger. According to this article and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 children are hungry. That is about 16 million children in the United States. These are not children living in the streets, these are children who live in a home but their homes are considered food insecure. Many children don’t speak up about their hunger because hunger has a social stigma associated with it. It is emotionally shameful to speak up about being hungry when we live in a land where anything can be at our reach. The article promotes Hunger Is campaign which its goal is to help alleviate this epidemic. The campaign is raising funds through hungerls.org and the campaign will kick off at Safeway Grocery Stores beginning April 1, 2014. The funds will be disbursed to help fund for school breakfast throughout the country.

There was a time when I have been watching television and a commercial comes on about childhood hunger in another country. I have been tempted to pick up the phone and make a donation. A dollar a day, a dollar a week, or a dollar a month. Which ever one I prefer and I will be helping the hungry children be a little less hungry. I always thought that in this country you couldn’t really go hungry, not like the children in other countries. Then I declared my major: Child Development. There I learned some of the issues that are affecting our children in the United States. Issues such as childhood hunger.

Childhood hunger is an important issue because there are some people who are unaware of how hungry some of our children in American are. While there is people donating to other countries, those people could be donating to help children in our own country, in our own state, our own city, maybe even our neighbor. Hunger is not as noticeable in this country because the person going hungry could be our neighbor. Just because they have a home does not mean they have food on their plates. I believe that we should be advertising more of our own country’s hungriness than those of others. At least make our communities aware of what can be done to help. Even if it just a dollar a day, a week, or a dollar a month. Anything helps.

Article can be found at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/28/viola-davis-child-hunger/6962841/

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7 thoughts on “News Brief 469: Childhood Hunger in America

  1. This is a really great article and is important. You are right when you say that our country needs to realize that children are going hungry here as well as in other countries. We often forget, since we are so privileged, that people we encounter in our every day lives may be going hungry. I do not know, personally, what it feels like to go hungry, but I know that there are so many children going home to no food. As a future educator I hope that I can work with other educators to help children who are going hungry. I think more programs should be started to help feed children who are hungry. For example, there are some after school programs that feed children a full meal before going home because many children go home and do not get any food. Having free meals for students is a great start to helping childhood hunger.

  2. Recently, I’ve been having financial issues, and I’ve learned there are lots of resources out there to people. I wish everyone had access to these resources. I just remember the lady telling me about food stamps, heath insurance, and free food banks in Arcata and Eureka. On a bigger picture, I feel this country has enough money to take care of our world. I just feel the huge amounts of money goes toward things it should not go toward, but if we refocus the direction of that money, we could change a lot of things

  3. This is such an important topic that is not discussed or addressed as often as it should. When I hear of hunger, I think of homeless children or children in different countries, not those who live in a house or apartment. The article you chose presents a simple solution of donation to help feed the children and I think that is an excellent start. Our communities do need to open their eyes to the issue of hunger and see it for what it is instead of the stigma of ‘not in my backyard.’

  4. Vicente Payan-Noriega says:

    I really liked the article, it brought up good points that I had not considered surrounding child hunger in the US. Like you I had never really considered or heard about childhood hunger in the US as like I had heard about childhood hunger in other countries. This topic is not one that many people discuss or address in our country everything surrounding this topic appears to be overlooked and swept under a rug. Presenting Hunger Is campaign was a good addition because it presents a movement that is in place to help put a a dent in childhood hunger. I think that overall this issue is one that will take a while to fix but the more we get informed we can try and make a change.

  5. This topic is extremely sad. With 1 in 5 children hungry everyday we are, and will continue to see the negative side effects on both children’s personal health and our countries’ future. Without adequate food focusing on even menial tasks can be challenging. With this food deficiency, we see 16 million children’s education at stake, and subsequently those children’s success as adults. Carmina’s point about the silencing that is a result of hunger as a social stigma is a powerful point as well. As a society we need to progress towards open communication amongst individuals so problems, such as hunger, can be faced quickly, and at the community level. While I am glad companies are working to alleviate this problem, I feel that they may be taking the wrong approach. There is enough food in the country. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council in a study from 2014, about 40% of our food supply is wasted. This “farm to landfill” chain has been identified by multiple studies and is apparent in most grocery dumpsters. The hideous reality is that while children go the bed hungry, the food industry has ample food produced. Safeway raises money from its consumers to support those that are hungry, yet this store also routinely disposes of fresh and packaged foods. I believe our economic system, and possibly our values, needs swift change to efficiently address this issue.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/food-waste-americans-throw-away-food-study_n_1819340.html

  6. Personally, when I see a commercial on children’s hunger issue on television, I don’t make a donation not because I’m not aware of the truth of the hunger issue, but rather I don’t know if I can trust the organizations to give my donations to the right people. Grew up in China, we made all kinds of donations to children that’s less fortunate and these were organized by my school. We always knew not to waste food and be grateful for what we have because many people were not born into these privileges. But we were also taught that sometimes people’s donations get taken away and never reach to the people who really needed them. I guess it’s a personal trust issue, but I would rather make sure that I know exactly where the money is going to go and how it’s going to spend, before making any donations. And that’s what I think that most of people feel about these campaigns and donations. Even people who are asking for money on the street would be doubted for the real purpose of the money that they get from people. I knew that many people asking for money and say that they are hungry, but they are really getting money and spending them on drugs and drinks. I would rather gave them food, real food, so that I know my empathy is going to the right person.

  7. An article like this can really be an eye opener for some people. You here so much about people going hungry in other countries other then America, without realizing that it could be happening right in your own backyard. Even parents sometimes tell there children who don’t eat their food that “Their starving children in China.” It makes me think about how much food America wastes every day. It think a more accurate saying would, “Your starving children down the road.” I also found it important to point out that its not just homeless people that are starving. In fact it could be possible that there are more children going hungry who live in homes that children who are homeless.

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