What do you think of when you hear the words ‘childhood hunger’? When most Americans think of childhood hunger, they think of the international food-scarcity crisis. What most Americans do not realize is that hunger is an epidemic happening right here. Even though Lancaster County is known for its lush agriculture and serves as one of the most productive agricultural communities in the nation, food insecurity is a problem here in our own backyard. Do you know the facts about hunger in Lancaster County?
- 59,000 people go hungry each year in Lancaster County.
- 11% of the Lancaster County population is food insecure.
- 18% of the Lancaster County food-insecure population are children under the age of 18.
- 7 million meals are missed by food-insecure families in the county due to a lack of resources to food.
- It only costs $3 to feed one person, one meal in Lancaster County.
For children, the cost of a missed meal has an effect on not only their health, but their opportunities for education and activity. According to The Center on Hunger and Poverty, hungry children have a hard time learning in school, have short attention spans and, suffer more absence due to illness. The vital role that nutrition plays in the ability of children to learn in school is central to the mission of eliminating childhood hunger.
At the Power Packs Project, we recognize the hunger crisis that is happening here in Lancaster County. We have made it our mission to improve the mental and physical health of the children in the program. By providing our students parents with nutritious meals over weekends when the school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable to them, we are working to make sure meals no longer go missed.