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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:


North Carolina




New Mexico


South Carolina




West Virginia


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??


Originally posted to RDemocrat on Fri May 08, 2009 at 06:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips??? (11+ / 0-)

    For nourished children.

  •  A team of Kossacks (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, marykk, joyful, bnasley, I, RDemocrat, JG in MD

    will be raising money this weekend for Feeding America's Magic Lunch Box Program.  

    I completely agree that we, as a nation, must take action to bring an end to this national shame as soon as possible.  But nothing we can accomplish as a nation can be accomplished in the next few weeks -- as schools close and breakfast and lunch programs will no longer be available.

    In the interim, a donation of $36 will provide meals to a hungry child for the entire summer.

    Thank you so much for this diary.

    "Let reverence for the laws . . . become the political religion of the nation." ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by noweasels on Fri May 08, 2009 at 07:00:49 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, noweasels, joyful, RDemocrat, JG in MD, Ojibwa

    I don't have much to add, but I feel like there should be more comments here, just to show people are paying attention.

    One day, I made an offhand comment to my then-15-month-old: "What are we going to eat for dinner, kid?"  Even at that age, he understood my question; he's always been very advanced when it comes to discussing food.  As I looked into his happy, expectant face, the thought occurred to me that some parents say this not to wonder aloud which of the many things in the refrigerator they will feed to their child.  They say it because they don't have anything in the refrigerator, and are genuinely wondering what they are going to eat.

    We doubled our contribution to food banks (including Second Harvest) at that moment, but we still feel like we're not giving enough.

  •  Food Research and Action Center (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, RDemocrat

    SNAP/Food Stamp Participation at Record Levels for Third Month  (Reuters, May 4, 2009). National participation in the SNAP/Food Stamp program rose to record levels for the third month in a row as 32.55 million people received the benefit in February, a 17 percent increase (4.8 million people) from February 2008, according to figures released by USDA. Enrollment from January to February was up in 43 states, and five states (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Rhode Island, Wisconsin) saw increases of more than 3 percent. One in 10 Americans now receive SNAP/Food Stamps, although not all eligible residents receive the benefit.

    Food Research and Action Center

    Joe Biden: Get up! Al Gore: Pray, and use your feet! Harriet Tubman: Keep going!

    by JG in MD on Sat May 09, 2009 at 05:25:01 AM PDT

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