Government Sequestration: Hurting Hungry Children

Whatever your political stance, there’s little question that government sequestration will result in fewer resources to help our most vulnerable—hungry children.

As our government argues over $85 billion in budget cuts, the rest of us hold our collective breath waiting for the fallout. Particularly low-income families and food-insecure households. Why? Because public assistance programs that rely on government grants for the bulk of their revenue include:

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Feed Washington Distributes 71,788 Ounces of Formula to the Snohomish Community Food Bank!

When I started Feed Washington in 2003, a driving force was my desire to feed those who cannot feed themselves. Our most recent distribution of baby formula to the Snohomish Community Food Bank (SCFB), and its Food 2 Go program, is a perfect example of Feed Washington's mission. Food 2 Go provides food to homeless teens and their babies.

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Hunger Can Steal a Child's Future

Starvation affects more than children's immediate physical development - it impacts their future. Research has shown that hungry children develop behavioral problems and social disorders, particularly between the ages of 6 and 16.  Yet it's during these critical years that children develop the bulk of their social skills, emotional maturity and fundamental education. However, while hungry children are being held to the same standard as those who benefit from regular meals, they're not given the nutrition they need meet these even basic expectations.  Studies show that almost 20 percent of Washington children under the age of 18 live in poverty. (Food Research and Action Center). Instead of focusing on their schoolwork, they act out. Good grades and manners take a backseat to the fact that they don't where their next meal is coming from. And what many people perceive as behavioral problems may simply be lack of food. Recent studies also show that hungry children are: * More aggressive * Hyperactive * Less likely to get along with classmates * At greater risk of illnesses that require hospitalization They suffer from impaired cognitive functioning and diminished learning capacities, which means lower test scores and a limited chance of finishing their education much less going on to earn a degree. Skip lunch one day.  The next day, skip lunch and dinner.  Then imagine going without a decent meal at all, for several days. How well should you be expected to function? These are not bad children - they're hungry children in our own backyard.  And we all have the power to feed them.  Feed Washington is a true non-profit relief organization that's dedicated to feeding hungry children in Washington.  No matter how large or small your contribution, you can help us end childhood hunger in our State and give hungry Washington children a chance at a real future.

Join the Fight to End Hunger in Washington

September marks Hunger Action Month and national nonprofit Feeding America is calling upon individuals and communities to get involved in the fight against hunger. During the month of September, more than 200 food banks across the nation are asking people to lend a hand. A few of our local food banks involved are Food Lifeline and Second Harvest Inland Northwest. Local events are being planned throughout the month to help raise awareness about hunger in America and Feed Washington will be promoting local events so check back often to see how you can get involved. How Can You Help? - Write a letter to elected officials about hunger and the legislation that is important to you. - Organize a food drive at your office to donate to a local food bank - Send donations to food bank programs equipped to feed children and senior citizens As September gets closer Feed Washington will share ideas so that you can participate in the 30 Ways in 30 Days that you can help end hunger in Washington! Anxious to get started? - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter - Help your kids have a lemonade stand and donate funds to Feed Washington - Ask your favorite restaurant to donate one day’s sales to Feed Washington - Sign up to be a monthly donor at Feed Washington! Feed Washington believes it is the responsibility of all non-hungry adults in Washington to eradicate childhood hunger in our State. We ask those adults who aren’t hungry to commit to a small recurring credit card donation in an amount they won’t notice on their monthly credit card bill. Maybe for you it’s $1, $5 or $50. The individual amount doesn’t matter; it’s the collective impact that is important.

The Importance of Good Nutrition

In the first three years of a child’s life, good nutrition is essential in establishing and maintaining a foundation that has implications on a child’s future physical and mental health as well as academic achievement. Insufficient nutrition puts children at risk for illness and weakens their immune system. The immature immune systems of young children ages 0 – 5, make them especially vulnerable to nutritional deprivation and as a result, the ability to learn, grow, and fight infections is adversely affected. Without proper nutrition children are at risk for poor health and hospitalization. The lack of adequate nutrition affects the cognitive and behavioral development of children. These hungry children often suffer from irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. The impact this has on a child’s health is astounding. Research shows that food insecurity is associated with the following: - grade repetition - absenteeism - tardiness - anxiety - aggression - poor mathematics scores - psychosocial dysfunction - difficulty with social interaction among 6 to 12 year old children - suicide and depressive disorders among 15 to 16 year old children Feed Washington is a relief organization in Washington that strives to end hunger in our state. Your charitable donations benefit hungry children in Washington. For more information and to get involved please consider a small monthly donation. The individual amount doesn’t matter; it’s the collective impact that is important.