Many children who are food insecure eat only when they are at school. At home there may not be enough food to satisfy their hunger. Because many of these children cannot even afford to buy breakfast or lunch at school, they will either get free lunches or reduced-priced lunches.
Produced by Steph Diegel
How Food Insecurity Affects School Performance
By: Howard Blake
Food insecurity is affecting the lives of America’s students. According to Hunger in Our Schools, over half of public school students in this country come from low-income families. Educators across the country are noticing this problem, considering three out of four teachers say that they notice students come to school hungry.
Food insecurity is affecting the classroom performance of students across the country. Ineffectiveness in school can make it harder to find jobs considering, according to the Huffington Post, there is only a 5.2% unemployment rate for those with a college degree and a 10.3% unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma. Specifically, the state of Pennsylvania, according to Feeding America, has a 7.4% unemployment rate which is over the United States’ average of 7.2%.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s public schools carefully examined the school meal program and decided to eliminate the cost of school lunches and breakfast. Now, all students attending The School District of Philadelphia can get two free meals each school day. In Pennsylvania, 20.6% of children under 18 years-old are living in food insecure households.
Other school districts have begun implementing such plans. Teachers across the country have noticed drastic changes in their students when they are provided breakfast and lunch. Hunger in Our Schools states that 73% of educators say that they see an increase in their students’ attention in class, while 48% of teachers noticed better disciplinary behavior.
Those living with food insecurity experience the difficulties all year round, during the summer months there is an increase in those experiencing food insecurity. In the summer months children are out of school, away from those who can provide help and there is a decrease in food donations which increases the issue of food insecurity.
Produced by Amber Marshall