There is plenty of food in the United States but child hunger exists. Everyone experiences hunger but the hunger CFS is attacking is more properly called “food insecurity” and it occurs in households that do not always have sufficient calories to support energy requirements, cognitive development and the calming expectation that food will always be available.
The CFS solution can only be understood in the context of what happens when a household experiences periodic bouts of hunger:
Hunger impairs cognitive development.
Hunger adversely affects nutrition at the time of conception and during early fetal development before WIC nutritional support is requested.
Hunger causes WIC food to be shared among all household members. This reduces the amount of food available to unborn children during pregnancy and young children early in their lives.
Hunger leads to dangerous practices, such as gang membership, use of illegal substances and exchanging sex for food or money for food.
Hunger creates an environment in which crime thrives, such as stealing food, stealing money for food, dealing illegal substances and sex trafficking children in exchange for food or money for food.
Hunger destroys hope.
When President Obama targeted the end of child hunger, Childhood Food Solutions (CFS) had already realized that “child hunger” could not be ended without defeating its underlying cause, childhood food insecurity.
CFS began testing methods to alleviate childhood food security. Many methods were tested and found to fail to reach the neediest children. But placing sacks of groceries in the hands of children reached the neediest children.
Although many people pay lip service to the goal of ending child hunger it has not happened. I believe this is because the food support is perceived to be too expensive, and/or unfair to middle-class tax payers, and/or interfering with a poor person’s motivation to work. None of these concerns apply to the CFS methods. CFS adds less than 2% to the amount already invested in the education of a food-insecure child and does not increase taxes because savings in preterm and low-weight births conservatively provide a return on investment of 700% annually. When CFS food is eaten by adults, it provides the fuel to catch a bus, succeed in job interviews and provide sustenance when food supplies get tight before payday.