Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
A new study shows that among the many other pressing needs in our country there is still much work to do on ending child hunger in America. In the south and midwest states with large rural areas have startling high child hunger rates. My own state of Kentucky is among them. I believe that as a nation one guiding principle we should all agree on is that any child in America, regardless of race, class, or any other factor should be able to recieve the basic nutrition required to excel.
Some of the new statistics are pretty startling. The numbers were taken from 2005-2007:
Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005 -- 2007 states that 3.5 million children, ages five and under, are food insecure.
The analysis includes the first ever state-by-state analysis of early childhood hunger, using data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
They found a startling amount of American children that did not recieve the proper amount of nutrition:
More than 12 million children in the United States are food insecure – unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.
This particular problem is especially devestating for children that are under the age of five, because these are the prime development years as an expert in the field John Cook explains:
"Children are the engine for economic growth in the United States. Hunger creates unbearable, unsustainable costs that ripple through the economy and prevent economic success." said researcher John Cook, Ph.D., of the Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, a nationally-recognized expert on child hunger, who conducted the analysis. "If we fail to give them the nutrition and health supports they need in the first three to five years of life, our economy cannot fulfill its potential."
The first three years of life are the most critical period of brain growth and development. Child hunger causes physical and mental impairment that may never be reversed. Child hunger also creates tremendous costs that are completely unavoidable. There is no better investment in a prosperous future than investing in ending childhood hunger."
Sadly, many of the most effected states are my home state of Kentucky, and the states that surround us:
The states with the highest rates of food insecure children under 5 years of age are:
With all the money being spent on wars, banking bailouts, Insurance bailouts, Wall St. bailouts and every other bailout imaginable, it is time we took some time and money and making the feeding of hungry American children a top priority. It is not only morally the right thing to do but for the future of our competiveness and innovation in the future world economy we simply can not allow our children to fall behind because of the lack of nutrition.
We have already saddled our children with debt and low-paying jobs for their future in the last several decades. The least we could do is leave them with educational opportunities to make America a world leader in innovation for generations to come.
Now, I do not have the answers to a lot of these problems but the good folks of Feeding America are working hard on it. Why not visit them and see how you can help??