Hungry to Help
Hunger is a problem hiding “in plain sight” in North Carolina. Whether it involves skipping meals, eating less than is needed to live a healthy life, or making do with foods that are filling but not nutritious, hunger’s effects can be devastating, especially among our more vulnerable citizens, including children and older adults. Everyday hunger disrupts the lives of 1 in 5 children in North Carolina.
In May 2009, Feeding America released the results of its first analysis of food insecurity in early childhood, “Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005 - 2007.” North Carolina ranked second worst in the nation with 24.1 percent of its children under 5 judged to be food insecure and lacking regular access to nutritional food. The state was 10th worst in the same Feeding America study of food insecurity in children 0-18 years old. Both studies used figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nationally, the food insecurity average is 17 percent for children under 5.
To combat hunger the NC 4-H Youth Development program and the Food Banks of North Carolina, all of which are affiliates of Feeding AmericaTM our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, have teamed up to promote awareness of hunger in North Carolina and to make an impact in local communities through a new hunger awareness initiative entitled “Hungry to Help.” Exciting plans are underway to prepare 4-H’ers, 4-H volunteers and alumni to host a variety of hunger awareness programs in their local communities and to prepare participants to be citizen leaders for hunger relief. NC 4-H recognizes that knowledge and understanding are powerful tools in the battle to end hunger, and that food insecurity undermines our nation’s investments in education and health care. In North Carolina 4-H we believe that together we can make a difference!