PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer Food Programs Have Food But Not Kids

Earnestine Nelson, chief cook for the Alpha and Omega Church’s free summer meals program for children and teens, checks the progress of her peas and carrots while frying fish fillets and tater tots for lunch in Jackson, Miss. (AP)

During the school year more than 21 million kids in the U.S. get free and reduced-price school lunches, but in the summer only about 3 million of those kids get a free meal.

That’s despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funding for millions of children to receive a free lunch during the summer. In most states, 85 percent of those who are eligible don’t participate, according to Billy Shore, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Share our Strength, which aims to end childhood hunger in the U.S.

Shore says some communities have a shortage of sites providing the meals and even in communities with sufficient sites, parents often don’t know that these programs operate during the summer.

Shore says missing out on these meals can hold kids back.

“In terms of brain development, the brain does not develop as robustly as the brain of a well-fed or well-stimulated child,” Shore told Here & Now’s Monica Brady-Myerov.

Under fed children may also have trouble concentrating in school when they’re hungry.

There also may be a link between hunger and obesity. Shore says families who don’t have enough nutritious food will go for the cheapest options, “which turn out to be the highest-calorie, least nutritious choices,” he said. “A lot of hunger actually fuels obesity.”

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Throughout the week, Here & Now is looking at the impact a raise in the minimum wage would have on states, the federal government and workers.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 4 Comment

DJ Sessions: From Southern Fried Soul To Dance Party Duos

In this week's DJ Sessions, we spoke with KCRW's Raul Campos about "southern fried soul" from Texas and a dance duo from Los Angeles.

Mother Refuses To Gloss Over Addiction And Overdose In Daughter's Obituary

Kathleen Errico's daughter, Kelsey Endicott, lost her battle with opioid addiction in April, 2016.

How Did Donald Trump Become The Likely GOP Nominee?

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson traces Trump's path from his announcement to his primary election and caucus victories.

May 3 Comment

Letter From ‘Little Miss Flint’ Inspires Obama To Visit

Obama will visit Flint, Michigan on Wednesday to meet with residents who've lived with contaminated water.