No matter where you live in the United States, hunger and food insecurity are facts of life for people near you, even if it might not be visibly obvious.
Every single county has residents who face hunger day-to-day, and approximately 13-16 million of those who struggle with the impacts of food insecurity are children. Many of these kids are in households of working parents.
For TangoTab, solving childhood hunger is at the core of our business plan, and we view it as a critical factor in the future health and wellbeing of our society.
Our business strategy has evolved to support community initiatives focused on increasing access to nutritious produce. This directly relates to the fact that children who live in food insecure homes have little to no access to healthy meals.
Without these meals, children suffer from developmental ripple effects that follow them into adulthood, negatively impacting the overall wellbeing of our communities.
In fact, obesity is on the rise for people who face food insecurity because oftentimes, the food that’s readily available through food assistance programs– or the food that’s affordable for those struggling to eat– lacks health benefits.
Melissa Biotech, Vice President of the Poverty and Prosperity Program of the Center for American Progress, says that there exists today “this paradox that hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin.”
Boteach explains that “people are making trade-offs between food that’s filling but not nutritious and may actually contribute to obesity” because the cheapest, filling food typically available in a community is junk food.
Carole Little, a food pantry director in Spring, Texas, commented to National Geographic that, “We’re not wanting to perpetuate obesity. When people hold food drives, they don’t hold fresh fruit drives.”
Consider these statistics:
Kids facing hunger or food insecurity at home are twice as likely as their nourished peers to have to repeat a grade in elementary school. (Source)
One reason for this might be because of the way persistent hunger impacts a child’s brain development.
John T. Cook, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, recently gave the keynote address at the All Faiths Food Bank 2017 Child Hunger Summit.
Cook reported that new research shows that persistent childhood hunger can shrink a child’s brain, creating lasting developmental and behavioral impacts that oftentimes follow children through adulthood.
An estimated 62% of teachers say that children in their classrooms come to school hungry. (Source)
While some schools offer free or discounted lunches to kids in need, less than 50% of these children get breakfast. During the summer months, only 10% of these kids have access to food sites.
Households with children are more likely to be at risk for food insecurity than households without children. (Source)
An estimated 20% of homes with children have unmet food needs, while an estimated 12.2% of homes without children have unmet food needs.
When we come together to end childhood hunger, we are also coming together to help the parents of these children.
Many times, parents in food insecure homes will forgo eating in order to offer their children whatever they are able to scrap together.
National Geographic quoted Christina Dreier, an Iowan mother, explaining, “I eat if there’s enough, but the kids are most important. They have to eat first.”
Every single county in the United States has residents who face hunger, and approximately 13-16 million of those struggling with the impacts of food insecurity are children. (Source)
Diana Dill, Vice President of Development for Meals on Wheels PLUS in Manatee, FL says, “The need has increased dramatically…the idea that it’s just people that are homeless that are hungry is just not true anymore. The reality is the majority of the people we serve are working, but they just have limited income for food.”
By working together, we can eliminate childhood hunger.
Imagine if every time you ate a meal, one of these hungry children could also eat a meal.
With TangoTab, something as simple as going for a cup of coffee becomes an opportunity to easily give back to your community.