June 2013

Summer Puts More Children at Risk
by Erika Clemens
School is out and summer is quickly approaching, bringing with it an increase in the number of children at risk of hunger. Arizona is currently ranked as the second worst state for childhood hunger, with a child food insecurity rate of 29.9 percent; that is more than 478,420 Arizona children (Map the Meal Gap 2013). The majority of them qualify for federal nutrition programs like the National School Lunch Program and Summer Food Service Program. However, only 11 percent of these children participate in summer meal programs in Arizona (No Kid Hungry). Thus, these resources are not reaching all of the children, who are in need of them. Sadly this is a nation-wide trend.

This is where the role of food banks, like United Food Bank, and their partners becomes even more vital. During the summer, we have to make up for the meals that ordinarily would be provided at schools. With our partner agencies, we work even harder to ensure children living in food insecure households are getting enough to eat.

Proper nutrition is vital for the health, development and behavior of a child. Food insecurity can be incredibly harmful on children and have long-lasting consequences. During pregnancy, food insecurity can result in birth complications and low birth weights for babies (Feeding America). During infancy, children may experience delayed development, difficulty with affection and learning difficulties. Throughout their childhood, food insecurity can result in a variety of health problems, some requiring hospitalization, making it challenging for children to properly participate in school, social interaction with peers and other activities. Without   sufficient nutrition, children are more likely to have behavior problems,   like hyperactivity, aggression, mood swings and anxiety. These problems makes   it extremely challenging for children to succeed in school, and ultimately   have happy and healthy futures.

Our   goal is to prevent children from experiencing these complications by ensuring   they are getting the healthy food options they need, especially during the   summer months. With your support we can accomplish this goal. Our resources   can stretch dollars further to help more in need. For just $25, we can   feed a child for nearly 6 weeks. Imagine how many children we could help   this summer together. To learn more about the impact you can make, please   visit our donation page.

Stamp Out Hunger Results
On May 11th, the National Association of Letter Carriers celebrated their 21st year of Stamp Out Hunger. This is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, with 70.5 million pounds of food collected alone in 2012. Letter carriers picked up nonperishable food donations from mailboxes across the country and delivered them to local food banks. The day before the event, our Facebook friends shared their excitement with us and told us what items they were donating, from canned peaches to canned tuna to boxed mac and cheese. The next day, donated food from throughout our service area filled up our warehouse floor and totaled 168,588 pounds! This was almost 10,000 pounds more than last year! It was so incredible to see this increase in donations, especially as the need continues to increase across the country. We want to thank everyone who contributed this year! Your donations will be greatly appreciated by struggling Arizonans and their families.

Mesa Hydration Donation Campaign
This month you can help the homeless by donating bottled water to the City of Mesa’s annual Hydration Donation Campaign. This water drive runs from June 3rd through September 13th. You can leave donations at various drop-off locations throughout the city. For more information click here.

 

Come Tour UFB!
Want to learn more about how United Food Bank fights hunger? Come take a tour and see first hand! Tours are held the first Wednesday and third Saturday of every month. Sign up today!