School is back in session. Pop quiz! How many children live in food insecure homes in the United States? What percentage of children live in food insecure households in Washington, D.C.? According to the USDA statistics, about 16 million children live in food insecure households. This means that they don’t know where their next meal will come from. Here in D.C., 32.3 percent of children live in food insecure households.
Tests, projects and homework make school tough enough but adding the element of hunger makes these essential pieces of school almost impossible. It is tough to concentrate on an empty stomach. At the Capital Area Food Bank, we are striving to ensure that kids all across the region ace their tests! As school gets back into full swing, we are working throughout the region to reach school-aged children and their families.
In the Food For Kids Department we are spending our evenings and weekends at Back-to-School programs in order to talk to children and their families about the afterschool and weekend meals we are providing through our Kids Cafe and Weekend Bag programs. In addition to talking about our programs, we are disseminating health information, books and school supplies. Spending time with us is the Public Policy and Community Outreach department spreading the word about SNAP benefits. Partner Relations has given us information to share about our Hunger Life Line-a tool connecting community members to food in their area.
The next time you see a food bank staff person in your neighborhood or school, give them a high five for their work on helping eliminate hunger in our area. They deserve some extra credit!