We are seeing a shift from poverty elimination to a preventative methodology. We reduce barriers to accessing healthy food, which impacts immediate, short and long-term developmental outcomes for children and youth. Provision of food is a key prevention strategy impacting physical health, mental health and academic success, in breaking the cycle of poverty.
For many children, hunger is not just an occasional missed meal – it is a way of life. Children who live with chronic hunger develop physically and socially at a slower pace than their peers, experience higher levels of anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability and aggression. Even relatively short nutritional deficiencies can negatively impact a child’s health.
When children receive the nourishment they need, a whole new world opens up. They can concentrate better in class, have higher energy levels, improve test scores and attendance, and become more social.
If we are truly committed to breaking the root causes of poverty, we need to focus resources on children ensuring they are provided the tools needed to grow, thrive and succeed.