Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Recent Study Reveals Kids Who "Struggle with Hunger"

In the August 26th Vero Beach Press Journal, journalist Lisa Bolivar reported on the findings of a study released the day before. According to the Treasure Coast Food Bank and Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, about 30.5% of kids in the Treasure Coast region of Florida “struggle with hunger.”

The findings centered around a term I hear more and more frequently: food insecurity. It means a lack of a stable food supply.

We must find the courage to talk about food insecurity. Why? Because all kids deserve access to food. Healthy food. Fresh food. Good food.
So let’s talk about food and kids. Why is there food insecurity? How can we morally allow a child to go hungry?

I choose to teach kids and families how to prepare healthy meals and snacks economically using fresh foods. The dollar menu at McDonalds is not the answer to our food insecurity crisis. We have a problem and we have to talk about it. Call your neighborhood elementary or middle school principal and ask them how many kids they serve are in situations where they are “food insecure” and go home to empty kitchen shelves, if they are the lucky ones who have a place to call home.

If we are going to solve the childhood obesity crisis, where kids are eating too many calories and too much fat, white flour, white sugar, and salt, we must talk about food. Too much of it for some. Too little of it for others. Not the right balance for many.

Food and shelter are basic rights. If we don’t have access to good foods, then how can we expect kids to achieve the greatness that each child is capable of?

It’s time to do something to protect the health - and lives - of America's children. What will YOU choose to do?

Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

"Because failure to reverse childhood obesity is not an option"