Hunger Facts

“After multiple risk factors are considered, children who live in households that are food insecure, even at the lowest levels, are likely to be sick more often, recover from illness more slowly, and be hospitalized more frequently. Lack of adequate healthy food can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school and is linked to higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence. Food insecurity can affect children in any community, not only traditionally underserved ones.”

– American Academy of Pediatrics

1 in 5 children struggle with hunger in New Hanover County.

We know, and the research shows that children raised in food insecure homes face disastrous consequences. Hunger and inadequate nutrition wreak havoc on children’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Hunger creates a ripple effect that affects us all.  Hunger, and it’s consequences follow our kids from their home, into the schools, and out into our community.  NourishNC believes “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.”

Food insecure children are more likely to:

  • Experience chronic illness & weakened immune system. They are sick more often, are slower to recover from illness, and are hospitalized more often
  • Impaired concentration, poor academic performance and increased grade repetition
  • Higher school absences and tardies
  • Lower math and reading scores
  • Higher levels of behavioral & emotional issues

In New Hanover County:

Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. For many children, this means they do not know where, when, or if that next meal is coming. More info here.

A Food desert is usually an impoverished neighborhood that is “vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods.” This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” This often means that families must shop at mini-marts or gas stations to eat. These businesses sell junk food, have significantly higher prices for food, and do not typically sell fresh produce. Use this tool to see where these food deserts are located.

Nearly half of all kids qualify for free & reduced lunch. See the most recent stats here