A gnawing feeling in the stomach. Light-headedness. Dizziness. Headaches. Lethargy or weakness. Inability to concentrate. A craving for food. Pain.All of these are associated with hunger.Most of us can end the temporary experience of hunger, but many children may not have that choice. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and they are called “food insecure.” Every day, too many children are truly defined as “hungry.”Each week hundreds of children come to school on Monday morning hungry , irritable and not ready to learn because they had no food on the weekend while they were home.
Help 4 Kids Florence is a program that supplies weekend bags of food to elementary school students in Florence County. Each Friday, children at risk of being hungry get sent home with a bag of food items for the weekend. Our goal is that these children return to school on Monday rested, fed, and ready to learn.Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important in establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity.
Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability.
The Help 4 Kids Florence organization exists to help the Florence community combat these long term consequences for the children of our community.