Welcome back to the End Child Hunger in AL (ECHA) blog. It has been over a month since our last post! Hopefully everyone has had a safe & happy holiday season. To kick off this new year, we are finishing this series. Part 5 of Child Hunger at Home is our last post in this series, so we hope you have found these posts helpful & informative. If this is your first time on the blog, go back & read the first four parts.
Children are less likely to graduate from high school –
We say children are learning to read up through 3rd grade and reading to learn after 3rd grade. Children who miss school are less likely to learn the necessary skills needed to be able to read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade. This is a critical educational milestone that can determine a child’s later success in school. They likely haven’t mastered other skills necessary to build on such as math and language. Without these basic skills, they will face frustration and difficulty in being successful in school – things that could lead them to drop out of school early.
Sickly children who start school behind are out a good part of the school year, and are not going to be able to catch up and graduate on time with their peers.
Children who don’t graduate will have difficulty learning a skill that will pay a “living wage” and be able to take care of themselves and/or their family.
Children are more likely to grow up to be adults unable to take care of themselves –
The national cost of hunger: According to a report by the Center for American Progress and Brandeis University, “hunger costs our nation at least $167.5 billion due to the combination of lost economic productivity per year, more expensive public education because of the rising costs of poor education outcomes, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity to keep families fed.”
A breakdown of the cost of hunger:
According to the Center for American Progress, in 2012 the annual cost of hunger or its threat (i.e. “food insecurity) includes:
$130.5 billion: Illness costs linked to hunger and food insecurity.
$19.2 billion: Value of poor educational outcomes and lower lifetime earnings linked to hunger and food insecurity.
$17.8 billion: Value of charitable contributions to address hunger and food insecurity.
So now child hunger has grown into another problem later in life when that child reaches adulthood and has health issues that could have been prevented and is less likely to have the skills to get a job that will provide for himself and his family.
* Information for this post provided by VOICES for Alabama’s Children*