1 in 5 American children is food insecure

What is Summer Hunger?

Almost 30 million students in the U.S. receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. But when class is out, millions of these kids will go hungry.

Parents and caregivers have already seen their food budgets stretched thin as prices at the grocery store have continued to climb this past year. Plus, when federal emergency funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ended in March 2023, 16 million U.S. households saw their SNAP benefits decrease. Households with children have lost an average of $223 in benefits each month.

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What Are The Effects Of Summer Hunger?

Research shows that summer hunger and food insecurity can cause physical and mental health problems and lead to poor performance in class when school begins again.

  • Studies indicate food-insecure children experience higher rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
  • Children who don’t have enough to eat have more issues with language and motor skills.
  • Hunger has harmful effects on a child’s learning during the summer. That’s when a phenomenon called summer slide can be intensified without proper nutrition.

When kids are properly fed their brains are nourished, setting them up for success in the classroom.

Learn more about the effects of summer hunger.

How Feed And Read Is Pushing Back Against Summer Slide

The effects of summer slide can be reduced by making sure kids have enough to eat and are keeping their brains active throughout the summer. Our Feed and Read programs support community nonprofits that work with children over the summer months, providing free meals and books for kids.

Learn more about summer slide.

Continue Learning This Summer

Reduce summer slide in your household with hands-on learning projects for kids. These free educational coloring sheets are a great starting point!

A girl holding a book at an outdoor event

How You Can Help End Summer Hunger

Summer should be a carefree time for kids. But sadly, it’s not for the millions of students who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year.

And that just isn’t right.

You can make the difference for hungry children and their families this summer. Give the gift of food and essentials so families can stretch their budgets further.