HOW TO HELP HUNGRY STUDENTS LEARN


FREE AND REDUCED SCHOOL MEALS

Hunger affects children in every community in the United States. Ending hunger means ensuring every child has reliable access to the healthy food they need. Free and reduced-price school meals work to close the gap between kids who have enough to eat and those who don’t. These programs can make sure kids have access to food when they need it, regardless of zip code, age, time of year, or time of day. But the traditional method of serving the meal before the school day starts is ineffective. As a result, only a fraction of the students who may need this meal are unable to access it. When schools make breakfast part of the school day, serving it once school starts instead of before, it reaches more of the kids who need it. This has a significant impact on test scores, attendance rates, discipline problems, and the lives and future well-being of students. [1]


VOLUNTEER AT YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK

Many food banks have programs that work to ensure kids get the healthy meals they need during the school year —and some of them may be looking for volunteers to help. From packing backpacks with food so kids have meals all weekend to providing lunches at Kids Cafe programs, food banks and their partner agencies need volunteers to help connect hungry kids with food. [2]


START AN AFTERSCHOOL MEALS PROGRAM

The Afterschool Meals Program allows educational or enrichment programs in eligible low-income areas to serve a meal and/or snack each day to kids and teens ages 18 and under. Since the meal must be served after the bell on school days, the most common meal served through this program is supper. [3]


SUPPORT A LOCAL TEACHER

Support a local teacher by starting a classroom snack fund. [4]

[1] Fyler, Lucy. "Teachers: Hungry Kids Can't Learn." No Kid Hungry, 5 January 2021, www.nokidhungry.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/hungry_kids_cant_learn_-_hunger_in_our_schools_micro_report.pdf

[2] Weber, Allison. "Help Kids Facing Hunger This School Year." Feeding America, 5 January 2021, www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/help-kids-facing-hunger-this

[3] No Kid Hungry Editorial Staff. "Child and Adult Care Food Programs." No Kid Hungry, 5 January 2021, www.bestpractices.nokidhungry.org/programs/afterschool-meals/about-afterschool-meals

[4] Masur, Lauren. "Why Teachers Are the Real Heros In Schools Today." Kitchn, 5 January 2021, www.thekitchn.com/food-insecurity-hunger-affects-students-in-the-classroom-teachers-261822