safe and nutritious meals for children

GFN Child Hunger Program


Food banks connect children facing hunger with food

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 41 percent of children under the age of 15 worldwide were at risk of hunger. The effect of moderate to severe food insecurity can cause debilitating and sometimes irreversible damage to a child’s physical and cognitive development. It not only threatens a child’s future but also harms families, communities, and nations.

Many children around the world receive their main meal of the day through a school feeding program. In addition to alleviating hunger, the programs have a secondary benefit: They help increase attendance and support academic achievement, especially for girls.

The Global FoodBanking Network’s (GFN) Child Hunger Program helps food banks establish, develop, and expand programs that provide food and other services to children, adolescents, and mothers facing food insecurity. GFN provides technical assistance, resources, and information on best practices as well as implementation guidelines and strategies for food banks to support the establishment of these programs. 


GFN’s impact on children


17+ million

children are served by a gfn partner food bank



gfn partner fOOD BANKS support a child hunger program

How GFN partner food banks address child hunger


School breakfast and lunch programs provide food to children as a part of the school day as a grab-and-go option or in a cafeteria, classroom, or other designated area.

Backpack or weekend take-home programs give children backpacks or bags of food to eat at home over the weekend.
Summer or holiday food programs provide meals to children during the summer or holidays—when they cannot rely on school meals—either through schools or other community agencies.
Food and nutrition education programs provide opportunities for children to learn more about different types of food, healthy eating habits, and social and cultural aspects of food and eating.

Targeted approaches to the food security needs of mothers and children can profoundly impact society—breaking the cycle of poverty, building human capital, and driving economic development for generations to come.

Healthy nations start with healthy children

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