Let’s put an end to poverty, hunger and homelessness!
WHY IT MATTERS
In The Antelope Valley One in five children may not have access to basic school supplies because of their family’s economic circumstances. Receiving a simple backpack filled with the tools needed to succeed in school can be a life- changing experience.
This problem is nor just affecting OUR community but the problem is nation wide! 40% of children living in poverty aren’t prepared for primary schooling in the United States. (Addy, Sophia, William Engelhardt, and Curtis Skinner. "Basic Facts About Low-income Children, Children Under 18 Years, 2011." NCCP. Accessed February 18, 2015.)
More than 30 million children are growing up in poverty. In one low-income community, there was only one book for every 300 children. (Save Our Schools, Inc. "Poverty; The Effect on the Whole Child." Save Our Schools March. Accessed March 1, 2014, http://saveourschoolsmarch.org/issues/poverty-and-the-effect-on-education/poverty-the-effect-on-the-whole-child/)
In 2013, the dropout rate for students in the nation was at 8% for African American youth, 7% for Hispanic youth, and 4% for Asian youth, which are all higher than the dropout rate for Caucasian youth (4%).
(Fry, Richard. "U.S. high school dropout rate reaches record low, driven by improvements among Hispanics, blacks." Pew Research Center. Accessed February 18, 2015.)
SEF recognizes that children can never reach their full potential in school if they lack the necessary tools to learn. Every year we host a back to school event for anyone in need in our community, providing youth with everything they need to go back to school. SEF parents and children look forward to the event each year and depend on the supplies we provide.
In 2015: 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children. 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure. 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.
WHY IT MATTERS
Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Poverty in the United States is only one of many factors associated with food insecurity. In fact, higher unemployment, lower household assets, and certain demographic characteristics also lead to a lack of access to adequate, nutritious food. Hunger hurts everyone, but it is especially devastating in childhood because hunger deprives kids of more than just food. On empty stomachs, kids don’t have the energy to focus, engage, learn and grow. Yet, this is the reality for 1 in 6 children in the U.S. who worry about when they’ll have their next meal.
More than 5 million senior citizens age 60 and older face hunger. Seniors face a number of unique medical and mobility challenges that put them at a greater risk of hunger. After a lifetime of hard work, many find themselves struggling with health issues on fixed incomes. Many of these individuals are forced to choose between paying for groceries and buying medicine.
While hunger has no boundaries, it does impact some communities more than others. African Americans are more likely to suffer from food insecurity as their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. They are disproportionately affected by unemployment and poverty as well.
The Latino population in the United States has nearly doubled in the past decade and continues to grow. Currently, Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, poverty and unemployment. They are also less likely to receive support through federal nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and are at greater risk of developing diet-related illnesses.
We have to be sure that food we feed children, seniors and families facing hunger is not only filling and healthy, but also safe. Ensuring that the food we serve is safe will continue to be a foundational component of our work to end hunger and a critical part of our commitment to support the wellbeing of the people we serve.