On today's show, Adrian and Ethan discuss the projected rise in the number of children who live in "food insecure" homes as a result of the pandemic and some the government and nonprofit programs making a difference in the community.
As the pandemic stretches on, millions of children in the U.S. are facing a summer marked by the threat of chronic hunger.
According to the USDA, more than 11 million children in the United States live in "food insecure" homes. And that number dates from before the coronavirus pandemic. Today, projections show that 18 million children could face hunger this year.
As parents across the country lost their jobs and schools closed their doors, the number of households with children who weren't getting enough food rose dramatically. According to research from the Brookings Institution, about 41% of mothers with children under the age of 13 reported recent food insecurity in April, the highest level since at least 2001.
When schools suddenly closed in March, states and school districts had to scramble to ensure children were fed. Teachers organized food drives, and under new federal waivers passed in March, school districts organized "Grab-N-Go" stations where families could pick up several days' worth of meals at a time.
USDA funded summer meals sites are limited to low income areas. But a nationwide waiver has extended the area eligibility, which allows all children in all areas to receive free meals through USDA’s summer meals programs. They rapidly launched the Meals for Kids interactive site finder – featuring more than 60,000 sites – so families can find free meals for children in their area. . Families can use the finder tool on the website to find directions to nearby sites as well as hours of operation and contact information. www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids
From Seattle to New York, from Miami to San Francisco, food banks across the country are doing what they do best – feeding people in need within their communities. Hunger exists in every state and county in the United States. Local food banks, shelters, and nonprofits rely on the donations they receive from people to help keep their shelves stocked. Please consider donating in your community.
One organization working to bring food to the nation's hungry children is No Kid Hungry. No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 4 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. We have plenty of food in the United States. And we have child nutrition programs that work. The problem is that not enough kids are able to access them. That’s a problem No Kid Hungry knows how to solve through School Breakfast, Summer Meals, Afterschool Meals, Nutrition Education and Advocacy.
They have created and launched an interactive map that allows families in need to easily find food for their kids. Enter your address to find free, healthy meals being served by organizations in your community.