Recent studies show that there are 400 million children living in extreme poverty around the world. The average person in a developing country lives on $0.78 CAD a day. This can contribute to child labour and create generational poverty traps.
NAME THAT COUNTRY ….
- Over 840,000 people seek help from food banks every month
- Two in five of those using food banks are children and youth
- One in six households seeking help from food banks are employed
- One in every six children goes to school hungry
- Over 4 million people, including 1.15 children, experience some level of food insecurity
Check below for the answer to this quiz
While the statistics are staggering, child hunger is not something we seem to talk about a lot in Canada. When we think of hunger and poverty, we typically think of developing countries where we view images of children who are scantily clothed, malnourished, and looking sad. We don’t always recognize that children being hungry happens in our own back yard.
Tammi Ritson, Community and Family Services Specialist for The Salvation Army Ontario Division says: “I’ve learned over the years from experience, and my studies, that poverty is so much more than lack of material and economic resources. It is however, the most visible type of poverty!
Many children benefit greatly from the implementation of school breakfast programs and healthy snack programs. Countless studies have been conducted over the years that show when children start their school day hungry, it can have such a negative impact on the remainder of their day. If that day then continues without access to a healthy lunch and snacks, the struggles to function successfully also continue. With COVID-19 and the repeated need for children to learn at home and not in person, children are not able to access these much-needed feeding programs.
We also know that with children at home all day, the request for food continues throughout the day. When a family already struggles to provide basic meals and are normally able to make use of the school feeding programs, these added costs can be crippling.”
READ AND REFLECT
Matthew 7:9-10; 12 9 If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? 10 If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not!
12 “Do for others what you want them to do for you.” This is the teaching of the laws of Moses in a nutshell.
Pray: The Lord’s Prayer
Thinking of child poverty and child hunger, how are these verses of Scripture speaking to you?
What are the steps you need to take today to address child hunger in your community?
Here are some suggested ways you might be able to help today.
- Donate healthy snacks to your local food bank (granola bars, fruit cups).
- Connect with your local schools to see if they are offering feeding programs that you could support.
- Some local charities collect things such as new school supplies & backpacks, winter coats and boots. All of these items will assist families greatly in providing for their children.
By Major Shirley King, WICC Board Secretary living in Toronto
Answer to the quiz: CANADA
Source for statistics: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/food-bank-canada-report-alarming-number-of-canadians-seek-help-1.2822684; PROOF – the University of Toronto’s food insecurity research centre 2017-2018 data;
Child Hunger in Canada and How YOU Can Help (amidstthechaos.ca); https://salvationarmy.ca
Picture source: touchstonesproject.com