Such is the daily life of undernourished students in America.
In the same country where many children are struggling with childhood obesity, one out of five students are going to class hungry. And their numbers are increasing.
Today, nearly 10 million kids get free or reduced price lunch during the school week. Another 10.6 million are eligible for these programs, but aren’t enrolled.
For a lot of kids, hunger begins at an early age...
Alexis Gavina is a pre-k teacher in West Texas.There are twenty students in her classroom, and five of them depend on school lunch assistance. “Every one of our twelve classrooms typically have five or six children in need,” she says. “That adds up to a lot of hungry four-year-olds.”
If you’re a seasoned teacher like Gavina, it’s not hard to spot a hungry kid.
“Some of them will try to sneak home snacks that we provide at school,” she says. “When a child is hungry, you will notice that their weight fluctuates and they need to go to the bathroom a lot more often. They’re usually sleepy and it’s hard for them to pay attention.”
Hunger affects school performance in a big way.
Not only is a student’s ability to concentrate in class compromised, undernourished kids are more vulnerable to illness—and they are less likely to graduate high school, making it even more difficult to climb their way out of poverty.*
“When Jesus saw a need, He filled it. And He calls us to do the same,” says Gavina. “There are a lot of problems in this world, but we can help solve them if we all pitch in and do our part.” We are honored to be a part of helping feed hungry students in St. Louis, Missouri and are thankful for all who support our ministry to do so.
When you support Hand of Hope, not only are you sharing meals with hungry children, you are also sharing God's love with families in need of a helping hand.