How To Tell If A Child Is Facing Hunger

Imagine this: Your child is sitting in a classroom of 30 kids. Now, imagine that four of those kids — their friends, their classmates — are going hungry. They don’t know when they’ll get their next meal. Sadly, this is the reality for one in five children in the United States. That’s over 13 million kids who face hunger every day [USDA 2022].

Hunger doesn’t just hurt tummies. It steals a child’s ability to concentrate, to learn, to thrive. Hungry kids fall behind in school. They miss days due to illness. They feel irritable, ashamed, and worthless. They lack the energy to play, to be kids.

“Kids need the right nutrition to grow, to develop, and to focus on learning,” says Christina Martinez, Program Manager of Children and Families at Feeding America. “They need to be able to concentrate in class so they can succeed and reach their full potential.”

But hungry kids often suffer in silence. Shame and fear keep them from telling the adults they trust. So how can you spot a child who’s going hungry? Look for these signs:

• They ask about food every day and aren’t picky eaters.

• They lose or gain weight suddenly, without a change in activity level.

• They hoard snacks and food.

• They act out, bully others, or behave badly.

• They have trouble focusing, remembering things, or concentrating.

• They’re overly active or impulsive.

• They’re aggressive or antisocial.

Hunger has a face, and it's the face of a child.... Let's feed their future, together.

Hunger has a face, and it’s the face of a child. But with your help, we can make sure no child goes hungry. Children deserve to learn, to grow, to thrive. Let’s feed their future, together.

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