According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.2 million children in America are at risk of hunger. Of the 37 million Americans served annually by Feeding America member food banks, nearly 14 million are children under the age of 18.
Here are some facts about child hunger in America:
- Research indicates that even mild under-nutrition experienced by young children during critical periods of growth impacts their behavior, school performance, and cognitive development.
- Children who are hungry may not perform well academically.
- Children who are hungry may experience slower growth and inhibited brain development.
- Children who are hungry may suffer from more stomach aches, headaches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue.
- During the school year, about 20.5 million children depend on free or reduced-price school meals to help keep them from going hungry.
ConAgra Foods and Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization, will premiere “Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report” on select NBC stations across the nation on March 19.
The 30-minute special, hosted by Al Roker with Natalie Morales, gives viewers a better understanding about the negative effects of hunger on children and how they can help end child hunger.
The special kicks off ConAgra Foods’ annual Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. From March through May 2011, ConAgra Foods will embark on its largest branded initiative to fight child hunger in the United States.
Consumers can purchase select ConAgra Foods brands and, when they enter their code online, the company will donate one meal to Feeding America — up to 2.5 million meals during this time period.