When was the last time you got hangry? It might be funny word, but it’s a very real feeling and we’ve all been there. If you’re like me, when you get really hungry, everything else, whether its work, studying or friends, shifts to the back-burner and you turn into an irritable, unfocused and checked out person. Sounds awful right? Well, the good news for you and me, is that this probably doesn’t happen all that often. We usually have access to lots of healthy, filling foods that keep our energy up and moods happy throughout the day. But what if this wasn’t just an occasional feeling and your hunger interfered with your happiness and productivity on a daily basis?
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that a child needs a good breakfast and lunch each day to stay engaged and focused in school. Studies have shown that students who go to school hungry lack effort and motivation in the classroom, have trouble interacting with their teachers and classmates, and often have poor academic performance. But what if I told you that every day in Canada, nearly 1 in 7 children will go to school hungry? It’s a startling statistic that has short term and long term implications for children in our communities.
Not only is hunger robbing our children of a great learning and social experience, but it’s also hurting their chances of becoming engaged and productive community members, and seriously jeopardizing their future economic stability.
We know that when kids eat a full, healthy breakfast they usually have better attendance, are more attentive in the classroom, and have fewer disciplinary problems. So why are so many children going without?
Unfortunately, for many parents in our community struggling with poverty, going without food is often the solution to making ends meet. In a recent poll, 54% of North York Harvest clients said that they regularly skip meals in order to pay for things like rent, utilities, healthcare and transportation. Putting food on the family table might seem essential, but when you stack it against these other things, you can see how a good breakfast or a healthy lunch often doesn’t make it into the family budget.
That’s why we need you to ensure that next month every child is starting the day with a good breakfast, and is heading to school with a healthy packed lunch.
Right now, every $1 you donate to North York Harvest can provide 3 meals to a family in need. That means that a $20 donation could feed 2 children breakfast every day for a month, or a donation of $40 could help pack a school lunch for 3 children for 2 months.
Your donation will not only provide good food for healthy meals, but will also help to build a community with more academically successful and actively engaged young citizens.
Let’s send our children back to school with the food that they need to thrive!