New survey released on child hunger
Hunger in the classroom—that is, students regularly coming to school hungry because there is not enough to eat at home—is a widespread problem in the U.S. Throughout the nation, K-8 teachers report seeing child hunger as a problem manifesting itself in their classrooms and showing no sign of receding.
Share Our Strength, a national non-profit geared towards ending child hunger in America, recently conducted a national survey on hunger in the classroom among K-8 public school teachers. Below are some highlights from the survey. To read the complete report, go to Share Our Strength.
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- From the perspective of teachers, hunger in the classroom is ongoing and frequent. Over four in ten K-8 teachers say that children coming to school hungry because they have not had enough to eat at home is a serious problem at their school
- Two-thirds of teachers say that they have children in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry because they are not getting enough to eat at home, and nearly nine in ten estimate they see this happening at least once a week. In terms of magnitude, this means that nearly half of K-8 teachers see one quarter or more of their students coming to school hungry on a weekly basis. Hunger among students is seen as a more prevalent and serious problem among teachers in rural and urban areas.
- Over six in ten teachers say the problem of children coming to school hungry has increased in the past year. Another third say it has stayed about the same. Very few, only four percent, see this as a problem that is decreasing.
- Teachers are among the first line of defense for students who regularly come to school hungry. K-8 teachers report taking action in a variety of ways to address the hunger they see in their classrooms, most commonly by helping students sign up for free or reduced price school meals, through purchasing food for their classroom, and by referring students and parents to resources in the school.
- Over nine in ten teachers agree that, “if communities focused on addressing child hunger, then we would make significant impacts on education."