Erin Blasko | September 3, 2019
More than 13 million children live in hunger in the U.S., according to government estimates, with many relying on federal nutrition programs, including school-based breakfast, lunch and after-school meal programs, for healthy meals during the school week.
But what about the weekend?
While the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, and similar programs supplement family food budgets outside of school, not all families qualify for such benefits, and those that do still struggle to put healthy food on the table because of a lack of options in many poorer neighborhoods.
The consequences are dire.
Evidence shows that children who lack access to healthy food are less likely to graduate from high school and move on to successful careers, and more likely to experience developmental delays in areas such as language, motor skills and behavior.
But with support from the University of Notre Dame, including the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, as well as the Kelly Cares Foundation, a local food rescue organization is working toward a solution to the problem — one with benefits for both school-age children and the environment.
Over the course of the spring semester, Cultivate, a South Bend-based nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of hunger in northern Indiana, piloted a take-home meal program for kids in grades K-1 at Madison STEAM Academy, contributing to a turnaround at the school, which has a high percentage of low-income students.
Read more here.