Nord, M., & Romig, K. (2006). Hunger in the Summer. Journal of Children and Poverty, Volume 12, No. 2, 142-158.
The goal of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is to provide nutritious lunches to school age children, with free or reduced-price lunches for children of low-income families. This study provides evidence that meals provided by the NSLP and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reduce food insecurity with hunger during the summer months. In low-income households, with school-age children, food insecurity in the summer is substantially higher than in other households. Factors other than school meals that are provided, contribute to higher food insecurity which included higher child care costs or reduced work hours for parents to cover child care needs. This study suggests that there is year-round need to increase and expand food programs for children and to increase awareness of the programs that are available.
Felling, C. (2013). Hungry Kids: The Solvable Crisis. Educational Leadership, May, 56-60.
The recent economic recession coupled with higher food and fuel prices and lower wages has increased the number of Americans living in poverty. Over 16 million kids are struggling with hunger, which equals one-fifth of U.S. children. This article explain why many believe that the programs are in place and that distribution and awareness are the main obstacles in ending childhood hunger. Share our Strength is a non-profit organization that works to increase awareness about hunger. In 2012 Share our Strength interviewed 1,000 K-8 teachers; three-fifths said that they have students who regularly come to school hungry. Teachers find that children who are hungry in the classroom find it harder to focus, and may exhibit behavioral problems. Visits to the school nurse for headaches and stomach aches are commonly hunger related. Hunger can affect long-term health, academic achievement, and economic prosperity. These factors can lead to a less competitive American workforce and higher healthcare costs.
Caldwell, S. (2013, August 10). Aiming to feed hundreds of hungry Alaska children, Children’s Lunchbox hopes to expand. Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved from http://www.alaskadispatch.com. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
This article highlights the Children’s Lunchbox program and interviews a food service worker who serves the children at the Boys and Girls Club in Mt. View. The Children’s Lunchbox also sends home meals for the weekend as part of their program. This need was identified when workers who serve school breakfasts at elementary schools noticed that some children would beg for an extra breakfast on Monday mornings because they had not eaten since lunch the prior Friday.
The Children’s Lunch Box website. Retrieved March 26, 2014 from http://www.thecildrenslunchbox.org
The Children’s Lunchbox is a program within Bean’s Café that helps to feed children in the Anchorage school district that have been identified as at risk for food security. The programs goal is to provide fresh, healthy meals to kids throughout the school year through in-school lunch programs and after school programs. Another aspect of the program is to provide “Just a Little Extra”, a weekend food program that is currently offered at 6 Anchorage elementary schools. Children in poverty often receive their main meals at school; this program aims to send food home on Friday with children to help them get through the weekend.
Hayes, D. & Berdan, G. (2013, April 22). School Nutrition Programs: Challenges and Opportunities. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Volume 7, No. 5, 333-340.
This article summaries the nutrition goals and challenges of school food programs in the U.S. and some the new programs being implemented. The authors offer an explanation of alternative methods that are being explored to meet modern nutrition needs in the school setting and promote healthy foods. Some of the programs that are being implemented include: scratch cooking; marketing healthy foods to children; Farm to School programs; School Gardens, and nutrition education.