As a result of the stigma around food assistance, many children aren't signed up for programs that exist to provide healthy food at school--and in some cases even if they are enrolled, they skip meals to avoid embarrassment. No one wants to have their child labeled as "the poor kid," and no child wants to be teased in the cafeteria for receiving a free meal.
When children don’t get the healthy food they need, they are less likely to succeed in school – focusing more on their empty stomachs than the lesson at hand. They’re more likely to exhibit behavioral, emotional and academic problems and tend to be more aggressive and anxious.
Through the No Kid Hungry campaign, schools are implementing innovative solutions to reduce the stigma around free meals. Breakfasts are being served to every student regardless of need. And many schools are implementing a lunch ticketing system that hides which students are receiving free or reduced-price meals, so that lunch rooms are a safe place for all kids.
With these changes, children feel safe at school and they're able to get the food they need to thrive. We need your help to continue to tackle this large but solvable problem in our country.
Take the No Kid Hungry Pledge today and join the national movement of people dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States by 2015.