One in 6 American children faces hunger and 3 out of 4 teachers report regularly seeing hungry kids in their classrooms. In response, school meals make up a large fraction of federal food assistance.
The National School Lunch Program is the second-largest federal food assistance program, serving 30.4 million children. It is complemented by the School Breakfast Program, the Afterschool Snack Service and the Summer Food Service Program. Though these programs are essential, they are not enough.
On a local scale, organizations such as food banks assist food-insecure children and families, but their work within schools is typically limited. In my roles as a researcher of food in schools and as a food bank board member, I often see opportunities for more collaboration between schools and communities to help fill the gaps in feeding kids whose families face economic hardship.
By Sarah Stapleton, theconversation.com (Sarah Stapleton is a FOOD for Lane County volunteer board member)