March 2022 Young Children Newsletter

Good morning fellow Kiwanians!

What happens when a child is hungry?

Kids who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage. Hunger hinders brain development. The brain develops rapidly from conception to age 5. Without the right nutrients, the brain cannot develop properly, resulting in long term effects on learning abilities.When they are hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations.

Children facing hunger may struggle in school — and beyond. They are more likely to:

•  Repeat a grade in elementary school

•  Experience developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills

•  Have more social and behavioral problems.

•  Hunger has been observed to cause depression, anxiety and withdrawal, all of which are obstructions to a child trying to focus on education.

(Feedingamerica.org)

I would like to share with you the most recent information on Food Insecurity the U.S.and New England.

FOOD INSECURITY 

(the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food every day)

Statistics:

1 out of 6 Americans are food insecure

1 out of 4 American children suffer from hunger and food insecurity

provided by feedingamerica.org

For each state in New England, if you compare pre-pandemic food insecurity to now,

here are the numbers: 

Pre-pandemicNowIncrease
CT396,000483,00022%
MA569,000689,00021%
RI112,000126,00012%
NH117,000130,00011%
ME170,000182,0007%
VT67,00070,0004%
1,431,0001,680,00017.5%

Here’s the current average childhood food insecurity by state:

ME21.8%
CT16.9%
RI15.4%
VT15.3%
NH14.6%
MA13.0%

I hope you will consider doing more projects to help fight food inadequacies in your communities. Support your local food pantries, backpack food programs, organize a food collection, and most importantly, support programs which supply food to children during school vacations and during the summer when food pantries are at their lowest supplies. HUNGER NEVER TAKES A HOLIDAY!

Finally, have you considered holding a meal packing event? This is a great Division Project. Outreach, Inc, offers 10 different meals: tomato basil pasta, apple cinnamon oatmeal, minestrone soup, cheesy rice, Spanish rice, raisin cinnamon oatmeal, apple cinnamon rice, raisin cinnamon rice, Mac and cheese, and rice and beans.

Each serving contains a fortified protein supplement making it more nutritious than store bought packaged food.

Each serving costs $.33 or $1.96 for a packet feeding 6. Meals are assembled on a line with 10 people working on each line. 36 meal packets fill a carton which costs $71.00. Minimally $3300. must be ordered for the activity. Matthew Martin is the Regional Manager and New England Coordinator for the Outreach Program.

Cell: 857-939-3459

email: matthew@outreachprogram.org

for more information: visit The New England. Outreach Program

https://www.endhungerne.org/

The Portland Kiwanis Club hosted a meal packing event for Kiwanis One Day on Oct. 27, 2018 held at a local church. I was fortunate to be able to participate.

Over 17,000 servings of apple cinnamon oatmeal were packaged in about 2 hours with much laughter and enthusiasm. The cartons were delivered to local food pantries in the greater Portland area. All participates left with a smile knowing that hungry families would be receiving nutritious food because of our efforts! I hope you will consider organizing a meal packing project!

Great News from KFNE!

The Kiwanis Foundation of New England Board of Directors has approved grant money specifically to support this meal packing program. Each Division may apply for up to $2000 to complete a meal packing event. The Division must have a minimum of 2 clubs participating and must raise $1300 or more towards the project. Each Division may only apply once annually for a grant.

The grant application can be found at kfne.org and can be submitted to grants@kfne.org. All questions must be completed on the application.

If you have concerns or questions, please contact me. And if you do arrange a food assembly project, please invite me. I would love to participate!

Ava Adams, District Chair

Committee on Young Children

New England and Bermuda District

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