Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a staggering 41 percent of children under the age of 15 worldwide were experiencing food insecurity1. The effect of moderate to severe hunger can cause sometimes irreversible damage to a child’s physical and cognitive development1. This can impact their families, their schools and their communities.
For many children, their primary meal of the day is eaten at school through school feeding programs.
School feeding programs around the world are gaining momentum and support as the multitude of benefits becomes apparent.
Kellogg Company Fund commissioned research this year to understand school meals programs and the social benefits they can provide. Children often receive critical nourishment when participating in school meal programs, while experiencing additional advantages like time to complete homework, play and socialize. This research found that meal programs can also support a child’s sense of belonging, security, and identity – all crucial factors in their social development. It can even help get children excited to get out of bed and head to school.
And you can get involved!
Anyone can be part of the support system to help sustain existing school breakfast programs and create new ones. Whether it’s volunteering your time at your local food bank, dropping off supplies or encouraging your employer to have employees get involved, it all helps.
If your child’s school does not have a feeding program, encourage it to start one. This GFN resource guide is a great place to start.
Currently, more than 17 million children are fed by a GFN partner food bank, and 38 GFN partner food banks support a child hunger program1. While we wish the need wasn’t so great, we at least know that school feeding programs are having a positive impact on children, their families and their teachers.