Four out of five Nebraska children (80.3%) have the security and privilege of knowing they will have enough nutritious food to eat every day of the year (this is called food security).
We all know that food and water are essential to our day to day lives. Nebraska is known for it’s farming and livestock, yet we still struggle to meet the needs of 20 percent of children. As a result, one-fifth of the next generation of workers, educators, entrepreneurs, will not be able to grow to their fullest potential.
What does it mean when Nebraska finds it acceptable that only four out of five children are consistently confident they will have enough to eat every day?
When a child is faced with the stress related to food insecurity, it can create a “domino effect” of negative consequences throughout their life. Health issues such as asthma, iron-deficiency anemia, diabetes, and obesity, mental health issues, dental health problems, and poor educational outcomes can all occur due to insufficient or irregular nutrition. All of these health issues have economic consequences that can last for years, increasing the likelihood that the child will be food insecure as an adult, potentially continuing the pattern for generations.
Hunger Free Heartland believes that more needs to be done. Every child deserves the right to go to sleep at night dreaming of their future, instead of what may or may not be scrounged for dinner the next day.
Meeting the urgent need of feeding hungry children is vital, and there are hundreds of organizations across Nebraska doing this work. Hunger Free Heartland, however, works to end childhood hunger. We do this by educating communities on the five research proven strategies that when are implemented in, food insecurity decreases. You, as an individual member or organization can help us end childhood hunger by coming together to implement these solutions and make sure all children can have access to this most basic need.