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Childhood Hunger Affects Communities Across the Country
Childhood Hunger Affects Communities Across the Country

Throughout the country, on rural farms and in urban high-rises, our nation’s children are experiencing a hunger crisis.

Today more than one in seven American children face hunger, living in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. Hunger can have a devastating impact on a kid’s academic, physical and emotional well-being.

Students who are hungry are more likely to:

  • Score lower on standardized tests 
  • Repeat a grade
  • Be suspended from school
  • Get sick more often
  • Be hospitalized more frequently

Childhood hunger costs our nation billions each year in lost worker productivity, rising costs to address poor education outcomes and physical and mental healthcare costs.  These three issues – economy, education and healthcare - are among the top priority issues that Americans want government to address according to a Gallop Poll of Americans.  

Fortunately, childhood hunger is preventable. Resources exist through federal child nutrition programs to help meet the needs of hungry children but these programs are underutilized.  No Kid Hungry is working to expand access to these programs so that children get the healthy meals they need to live, learn and play.  Not only do these efforts feed kids, they also strengthen communities by preparing the next generation to be a successful and productive workforce, making government more efficient and creating economic security for families.

To track food security over time in your state, visit USDA's interactive data tools.