The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia considers ending childhood hunger a major priority. In our service area, more than 87,000 youth are eligible for the free and reduced price lunch program at their schools. This is an indicator that the childen in our communities are not receiving the nutritious food they need to learn, and grow, which scientific research shows hinders their productivity as citizens.
The Foodbank operates two core programs to address childhood hunger:
• Kids Cafe®
• BackPack Program
Food insecurity in children has adverse effects on their physical, behavioral and mental health, development, and academic achievement. Insufficient nutrition puts children at risk for illness and a weak immune system.
Research shows that children living in food-insecure households have more difficulty concentrating in school than children in food-secure households, and the results of this condition have been linked to grade repetition, absenteeism, tardiness, anxiety, aggression, poor math scores, and difficulty with social interaction.