Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Feeding Our Children Beyond School Meals

Using the hashtag #ThisIsImportant, the Healthy Food site recently posted the graphic below on Twitter comparing typical school lunches in four countries: Brazil, South Korea, Italy and the U.S.  (My sense is that lunches in each of  the countries probably vary from one district to another).  Another online resource, Buzzfeed.com posted pictures of school lunches in 20 countries around the world (compare the photos from Ghana, Honduras, Djibouti, Kenya and  the Philippines with all the other countries). Also, how many of these meals include fresh fruits and vegetables?
The bottom line is that nutrition is a very important part of child development around the world. In the United States, free or subsidized school meals keep many children from low-income families from going hungry.

Photo: Bread for the World
Our federal government’s feeding programs serve as a lifeline for vulnerable children and families. Nearly 16 million children in the United States–one in five–live in households that struggle to put food on the table.

That is why Bread for the World members around the country will be writing letters to their representatives and senators this year urging them to renew our federal government’s major child nutrition programs, including those for school meals, summer feeding, and the WIC nutrition program for pregnant and new mothers along with their small children. Learn more about the 2015 Offering of Letters

And while school meals are relatively effective in reducing hunger, there are many times (like summer and weekends) when children do not have access to nutritious food. "Despite their proven effectiveness, child nutrition programs are only useful when they reach the children who need help. In particular, programs targeting children during out - of - school times fail to reach far too many children in need of food assistance. Our nation could do much more to reduce child hunger and mal nutrition simply by reaching more children. The reauthorization of child nutrition programs in 2015 provides an important opportunity to improve access to and the quality of child nutrition programs," Feeding America said in a briefing paper on the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization efforts.

No comments: