Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Childhood Hunger

Hunger and Children

There are many, many issues I hold dear to my heart that I feel called by God to do something about. Some of my issues can cause conflict within my own family and with others who believe differently from me. However, I feel that strongly that everyone agrees that no one--especially the children of our country, the future of our country, do not go hungry. I have been advocating for a while through Feeding America and you can find the link on my side bar of Favorite Sites. Please help to make a difference by donating, advocating, or praying for the children in our country who go hungry. God does not let them go hungry, we do!! God has given us the resources to care for each other so it is our responsibility to make sure no one goes without food.
Working in a soup kitchen, donating nonperishable goods to a local food bank, holding a dinner fund raiser in your home for a local food bank, or praying for the hungry is a wonderful way to make a difference. Remember, we are here to love each other. If we all do that, then the world will be more at peace and less at odds with what is right and wrong. Loving your neighbor is what we are to do; no matter who your neighbor is or where he lives.
Follow in the example of Jesus and you will not go wrong.
Blessed be God Forever!
JMJ




A Prayer for Children

Author Unknown
We pray for the children
Who sneak popsicles before dinner
Who can never find their shoes
Who bring us sticky kisses
Who hug us in a hurry, run out the door and forget their lunch money
We pray for the children
Who never get dessert
Who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers
Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead
Who have no safe blankie to drag behind them
We pray for the children
Who shove dirty clothes under their bed
Who throw tantrums in grocery stores
Who get visits from the tooth fairy
Who pick at their food
We pray for the children
Who don't have any rooms to clean up
Whose pictures aren't on any body's dresser
Who have never seen a dentist
Who will eat anything
We pray for the children
Who make us look under the bed for nightmares
Whose tears we dry
Whose smiles can make us cry
We pray for the children
Whose monsters are real
Who aren't spoiled by anybody
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep



Facts On Childhood Hunger


Over 9 million children are estimated to be served by the Feeding America network, over 2 million of which are ages 5 and under, representing nearly 13% of all children under age 18 in the United States and over 72% of all children in poverty [i].


According to the USDA, an estimated 12.6 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2006 [ii].


Nearly one quarter of the country (12 states) have more than 20% percent of children living in food insecure households, the states of Texas and New Mexico have the highest rates of children in households (24%) without consistent access to food.


The top four states plus DC with the highest rate of food insecure children are New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Idaho.
The top five states with the lowest rate of food insecure children are North Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut.


Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children, particularly for low-income children. 62% of all client households with children under the age of 18 participated in a school lunch program, but only 13% participated in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out [iii].
51% of client households with children under the age of 3 participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) [
iv].


Nearly 41% of emergency food providers in the Feeding American network reported "many more children in the summer" being served by their programs [v].


Emergency food assistance plays a vital role in the lives of low-income families. In 2002, over half of the nonelderly families that accessed a food pantry at least once during the year had children under the age of 18 [vi].


13.3 million or approximately 18% of children in the U.S. live in poverty. The rate of poverty for children under 18 remains higher than those aged 18- to- 64 and for those aged 65 and over [vii].


Research indicates that even mild under nutrition experienced by young children during critical periods of growth impacts the behavior of children, their school performance, and their overall cognitive development [x].


In fiscal year 2006, nearly half 49% of children were food stamp recipients [
xi].


During the 2006 federal fiscal year, 17.7 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Unfortunately, just under 2 million of these same income-eligible children participated in the Summer Food Service Program that same year [xii].

Source of Facts
i.Rhoda Cohen, M. Kim, and J. Ohls. Hunger In America 2006. America's Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. February 2006. ii. Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006.iii. Rhoda Cohen, M. Kim, and J. Ohls. Hunger In America 2006. America's Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. February 2006. iv. Rhoda Cohen, M. Kim, and J. Ohls. Hunger In America 2006. America's Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. February 2006.v. Rhoda Cohen, M. Kim, and J. Ohls. Hunger In America 2006. America's Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network. February 2006. vi. Zedlewski, Sheila, S. Nelson. Snapshots of America’s Families. November 2003.vii. DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, B.D. Proctor, J. Smith. U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007. August 2008.viii. Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006.ix. Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006. x. The Links Between Nutrition and Cognitive Development of Children, 1998, Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy.xi. Wolkwitz, Kari. United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2006, September 2007.xii. United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. National School Lunch Program: Participation and Lunches Served. Data as of October 2007.

6 comments:

~Joseph the Worker said...

On this note, please pray for our Parish work at the local homeless shelter, it includes many children.

Irene said...

Very good! You are to be thanked for your thoughtful words.

One possible improvement: the section beginning "Working in a soup kitchen..." might benefit by somehow pointing out that these are small things, and that if we wish to make a meaningful difference, we will have to do a whole lot more.

Kimberly said...

Yes, working in a soup kitchen, etc. are small things, but like St. Therese the small things are important. If we all did small things, they would add up to big things. If we all start with small things, we are the encouraged to continue making the smaller bigger.

Thank you for your comment Irene! God bless you!

Marie said...

Kimberly:)
I read an interesting article in our weekend paper on chocolate. Did you know that child slave labour is used in order to produce chocolate for the West? I didnt!

An author has written a book on it called 'Bitter Chocolate'..I forget her name but you may be able to google it.

I no longer eat chocolate and haven't done so for over 4 months now. After reading that article I will be staying away from it. I just wished it had mentioned the companies which produce the slave labour chocolates for us.

There are so many things we can do...If you are single think about volunteering in a nursing home at evening meal times(when nurses are rushed off their feet) to help assist alzheimer patients with their meals. I did that for 2 years..I gained so much from helping others:).

Peace, JOY & Love to you:)

Marie xooxoxox

Irene said...

Kimberly --

You're right of course. My original concern was the many who sooth their consciences by thinking a small token discharges their preferential option for the poor.

Marie said...

I have given you an Award hon:). You deserve it:). Just nominate 7 blogs of your own to pass this award forward:).

Peace, joy & love to you

Marie xoxooxo

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