Child Nutrition and Healthcare: Our Future
The future of our nation is as only as strong as the health of our children today. With the face of hunger becoming more of a familiar sight to the middle class, with 1 out of 4 children in our nation presently at risk of hunger which affects over 16 million children every day, hopefully new discussions will take place in consideration of ALL children. In 2008, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households. In 2008, 4.1 percent of all U.S. households (4.8 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times. (1)
Even though it is known that both sides of the aisle deem this as an important issue and that congress has a bill that will reduce child hunger by getting healthy meals to children when they need it, congress has yet to fund it. There is obvious concrete bipartisan support for the bill and yet the program will expire on September 30. 2010. Sponsored by Senator Blanch Lincoln (D –AR), S.3307 the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Re-sanctions the USDA’s major child nutrition programs (including the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, WIC, and the Summer Food Service Program). It also will provide $4.5 in additional funding over the next decade. I urge you to support Senator Lincoln by any means.
In that we have been through some extreme financial hard times, we must not attempt to balance the budget on the backs of our young. In not providing preventive care now in the long term costs of poor nutrition in the terms of poor educational performance, poor and regressing health issues will be far greater than the cost of not taking these problems to task right now. All children should have access to healthy high quality food they need and require. It is fundamental human right, although, it is not one that every child enjoys. Growing up in the housing projects of Boston, Massachusetts my siblings and I lived mostly on boxed and powdered welfare food and the weekly allotment of a gallon of milk which had to last a lot longer than the other bottles in the apartment. Albeit welfare Cheese was a high commodity item as it was usually well guarded and desired by everyone because it was the only item in the box that did not come in a powdered form. With all the issues we face, for myself I would have to say that the problems of hunger cut swiftly to the bone and can easily be overlooked as it sends its invisible tentacles deeper into already burdened families, depleting its victims of basic human respect, healthy lives, and any resemblance of happiness.
(1) Feeding America, Nationally: From Feeding America, our national food bank member headquarters, Food Share .com, December 13, 2010, <February 17, 2012) http://www.foodshare.com/AboutHunger/LearnAboutHunger.aspx