Without special programs through schools, many children would have difficulty getting healthy meals between school days and during summers.
Watch: A conversation about children facing hunger in Western NC
Listen as Amanda Jones, child nutrition supervisor with Henderson County Public Schools, and Audra Morrow, director of community supports with Children First Community in Schools of Buncombe County, talk with Stephanie Carson, news and community partnership manager with Carolina Public Press, about issues of child hunger and nutrition in Western North Carolina.
Although pervasive hunger among children in parts of the region may be difficult to comprehend for those who are not directly experiencing it or observing it, people working with child nutrition in the public schools confirm that it’s a serious problem. Some children on reduced-price or free lunch programs eat their last meal of the day during school lunches. Some children have not eaten a good meal between lunch Friday and Monday breakfast. Summers present a special challenge.
Programs to address hunger during the school year and summers are helping, but food insecurity remains a significant problem, with root problems in the marginal economic status of many families. Food deserts and limited access to reliable transportation also create challenges for many families.
To learn more about issues of food insecurity in Western North Carolina and child hunger in particular, see the series Faces of Hunger, an ongoing yearlong reporting project of Carolina Public Press, which premiered this month.
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