Can Food Change America?
We were pleased to hear that the Biden-Harris Administration hosted the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health last month. This was a conference aimed at both ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity for all Americans—excellent goals!
Side note: the last (and only) such conference was held over 50 years ago, so this was long overdue.
The conference highlighted two very important areas where food insecurity and diet-related diseases have a high impact.
Individual impacts include:
- Poor overall health
- Decreased academic achievement
- Increased financial stress
- Poor mental health
Societal impacts include:
- Reduced workforce productivity
- Reduced military readiness
- Increased healthcare costs
What a profound way of showing how programs like our backpack program can make a positive impact on children and on our country. If you’re reading this and you’ve supported Agape Meals for Kids or other similar programs, this shows how valuable your support is!
You can read the entire Biden-Harris Administration National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health online. Within our area of outreach, the most important aspect is Pillar One of the five pillars of action.
This talks about (among other things) increasing access to free and nourishing school meals. As many of you already know, access to free school meals has become less—and harder to get for children and families. You can read about this on our blog about the Keep Kids Fed Act.
While we strongly agree with any proposal to improve access to free school meals, there is a long way to go. Pillar One includes a call to state and local school districts to increase investments for school meals. And we know that some school districts will find this very difficult because their budgets are already so stretched.
The policies and recommendations are good, but they’ll take time to implement. In the meantime, there are hungry children in schools across America whose hunger makes it much harder for them to succeed in school. Having free, healthy school meals would end this, and eventually—as was stated in the impacts of hunger—increase workforce productivity, increase military readiness, and decrease health care costs!
So yes, we believe that food can change America for the better!
An important part of that is ensuring every child at risk for food insecurity has meals and snacks every weekend. That’s why backpack programs like ours are so impactful. Every child we provide with a backpack on Friday knows they don’t have to worry about feeling hungry for the weekend.
Will you join us in getting more backpacks out to children on Long Island? We’re a 501(c)3 registered charitable organization. We accept cash donations and donations of non-perishable foods. We also need volunteers to help with packing and delivering backpacks, running food drives, and planning fundraising events.
Thank you for helping us fight childhood hunger on Long Island!