Mentoring Moments with Martha: Dawne Gee

Solving Childhood Suffering One Meal at a Time

When you are hungry, you can’t think of anything else! How can children focus on solving a math problem or being a positive force in the community when they are trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger? You may be able to survive without a home. You can live without a fancy car. But you cannot survive without food. Without proper nutrition, a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity are threatened. There are few things in human life that are more essential than Food.

In the United States and in Kentuckiana, 1 out of every 4 children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they have no idea where their next meal will come from or when their next chance to eat will come. Insufficient nutrition puts children at risk for illness and a list of other issues that will affect not only their success in school but their lives. Poor nutrition and the lack of food will affect their cognitive and behavioral development. Children from food insecure households are likely to be behind in their academic development compared to other children, which ultimately makes it difficult for them to reach the same level of development as their fellow food-secure peers.

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