Child hunger: You can make a difference

In the midst of summer’s abundance, child hunger is actually at its worst. Low-income families who rely on school meal programs to nourish their children during the school year are struggling to feed their families. Some of these children are able to access meals at summer feeding programs, but the vast majority — almost 92 percent in North Carolina — do not.

MANNA sponsored 14 Summer Food Service Program sites in six counties this summer. However, that’s not nearly enough to meet the need. There is something you can do immediately to help. Urge Congress to pass a robust child nutrition bill now that helps improve access to these important summer meals.

School breakfast and lunch programs often provide the healthiest and most nourishing meal that a child receives all day. For some children, the program provides their only meal. And yet, funding shortchanges kids’ healthy choices. That is why it is vitally important that we not only improve the nutritional quality of the food being served to our children, but also expand program access so we can reach more eligible, low-income children.

Child nutrition programs can make a significant difference in a child’s life — protecting their health, improving their ability to learn, providing a sense of security and, ultimately, investing in their future. We have an opportunity to strengthen child nutrition programs this year as Congress considers a child nutrition bill. Congress must act on the legislation before the bill expires Sept. 30.

MANNA FoodBank urges Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan and Reps. Heath Shuler and Patrick McHenry to pass a strong child nutrition bill this year.

For more information contact Emily Paris at MANNA FoodBank, eparis@feedingamerica.org, or visit hungeractioncenter.org.

— Emily Paris
MANNA FoodBank

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