Good nutrition is a critical part of a child’s intellectual, emotional and physical development. Yet too many low-income families struggle to put enough food on the table. 15.8 million children suffer from food insecurity, defined as “limited or uncertain access to enough nutrition food.” More than one in five children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, nearly one in three children is at risk of hunger.
Federal child nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). During the 2013 federal fiscal year, more than 21.5 million low-income children received free or reduced-price meals daily through the National School Lunch Program. However, of those children, less than half receive breakfast and only 10 percent access summer feeding sites.
For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2015-2016.
Policy Analyses and Research
- April 3, 2017CBPP: SNAP Works for America’s Children
- February 15, 2017FRAC: Annual Scorecard Ranks States on School Breakfast Participation
- November 4, 2016CHW: Hidden Food Stress Underreported in National Data