Childhood hunger continues to be a major problem in the world. Malnutrition is an underlying cause of death of 3.1 million children each year1 – nearly one half (45%) of the global total of children’s deaths2. Malnutrition is not always lethal, but it is always devastating. Children who are malnourished achieve less at school and their productivity and health in adult life is affected, which has dire financial costs for entire countries. It has been estimated that more than 10 percent of lifetime earnings are lost due to under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, and the annual cost of under-nutrition in terms of global GDP is estimated at 2-3% or between $1.4 to $2.1 trillion3.
So where do food banks fit into the picture? Last year more than 1 billion pounds of food were distributed by food banks in the GFN network. That’s 1 billion pounds of food that did not go to landfill. Food banks provide food to children and families and often have programs specifically designed to help the plight of children. Some of examples include:
- Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days
- A program that provides breakfasts to hungry children at schools around the world
- BackPack Programs
- Food banks provide backpacks of food to children for weekends and breaks when they do not have access to government feeding programs
- Sandwiches for Kids
- A program of Leket Israel – volunteers prepare sandwiches for disadvantaged children in 120 schools across Israel
- Fresh Fruit Van
- A program of Foodbank Western Australia – local sports stars helped to launch a program which delivers fresh fruits via van to schools around Perth
- Feed My Starving Children
- Several food banks in the GFN network receive product from Feed My Starving Children, an organization that provides shelf stable, nutritious meals for food insecure children
- Lunch Buddies
- A program of Food Bank South Africa – Lunch Buddies offers businesses and advantaged schools the opportunity to partner with a less fortunate schools or community-based organizations to provide meals for children
- Kids in the Kitchen Care Van
- A program supported by Foodbank New South Wales – students gain important culinary skills by cooking and delivering meals to those in need
For more information, please check out the videos below for more details on food banks and how they help children in need.
More About Food Banks and Childhood Hunger
- The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food Systems for Better Nutrition, FAO, 2013
- Inspiring Food Bank Development in Hong Kong
- Focus on Child Hunger and Malnutrition: Expanding the Backpack Program
- Hungering to Feed Their Children: How Food Banking Helps Mothers in Need
- Breakfast for Better Days: Mexico
At The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), we hunger to make the world a better place through food banking. GFN is a global non-profit organization committed to creating, supporting, and strengthening food banks and food bank networks throughout the world, in countries outside the US.