60,000 Children Struggle with Hunger in Our Region
A recent child hunger study revealed that more than 18 percent of children living in the Blue Ridge region are struggling with hunger – about 60,000 children.
The numbers are derived from the Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity Study which was commissioned by Feeding America, the national organization that supports more than 200 food banks across the country. The study was funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation and supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen.
One way in which the Food Bank has been tackling child food insecurity is through four afterschool feeding programs. Enrollment in these programs is rising, and the Food Bank has experienced a 12 percent increase in participation in the past two school years.
Of the 60,000 children at risk of hunger in the Blue Ridge region, more than half need Federal food assistance programs (such as SNAP) but are ineligible because they are a little too far above the poverty line.
BackPack Program - provides at-risk elementary school children with enough food for the weekend and school holidays throughout the school year.
Kids Cafe and Kids Canteen - provide nutritious snacks and meals for at-risk children enrolled in after school programs.
Operation Angel Food - provides take home snacks and in some cases meals for pre-schoolers.
Summer Feeding - provides children at risk of hunger with nourishing meals and snacks throughout the summer.