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Why Millions of Low Income Kids Won't Be Eating Lunch This Summer

Low income children eating lunch

It's hard to imagine that in America many poor students who are out of school for the summer will have to wait until school starts again before they can eat lunch. But that is what millions of school children face every year.

Why low-income children go hungry

About 21.5 million low-income children qualify for free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, but only only 2.7 million children use the program during the summer, according to a recent survey by No Kid Hungry, an organization that educates the public about childhood hunger. This represents a huge number of children who will go hungry this summer.

Hunger a serious problem

Not having enough to eat takes its toll on school children, interfering with their ability to focus and learn. A report issued by Children’s HealthWatch also pointed out the long-term effects on children who do not have enough to eat. Hunger's long-term effects include physical, mental, and social development problems. So, it's more than just being hungry. Hunger affects their entire lives.

Summer programs often don't reach low-income students

There are summer programs that are designed to provide food for children during the summer. But there is a problem with many poor students who simply cannot get to these programs due to lack of transportation or the ability to pay for transportation. One solution that has been recommended by No Kid Hungry is to offer mobile meal services which would bring food closer to children in low-income neighborhoods. This program is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To read more, visit www.thinkprogress.org/education/2015/05/27/3663105/summer-vacation-means-millions-low-income-kids-go-hungry/

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