A hungry child is rarely ready to learn. In the short term, hunger has a negative effect on mood and concentration, while long term effects can have a serious impact on both physical and mental health as well as sustained employment outcomes later in life.
Solid evidence indicates that children who are hungry are not able to focus and are more likely to have a low attention span, behavioral challenges, and discipline issues in school. Chronically hungry children often repeat a grade, come to school late, or miss classes entirely due to illness. Every day, hundreds of CBE students come to school hungry and leave school not knowing when their next nutritious meal will be.
There are many reasons that children and families in our city find themselves facing food insecurity. Providing programs and services in our schools is helping to ensure that Calgary’s young people are supported, fed, and able to focus on finding and honing their talents and passions, rather than on their empty bellies.
The Student Food Security Fund provides grants to CBE schools to help them create programming to address food security issues for their students. Rather than a “one size fits all” approach, schools are able to tailor their programs to their students’ needs, whether that be a breakfast club, a milk program, nutritious snacks, or something entirely different.
We often think of school as purely a place of learning. Our educators and school staff nurture so much more than students’ academic growth and are often the first to identify youth that are at risk. Supporting in-school programming to help mitigate the effects of food insecurity is an easy way to have a positive impact on the lives of young people in need of immediate help. Your support will help schools to intervene quickly and ensure that all students have the opportunity to face their day at their best.