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For I Was Hungry “Meat! Meat! Meat! (continued)

During the past 18 years, hunters and farmers across the United States have donated venison, elk, and even cattle and hogs to FHFH enabling us to provide over 16.9 million meals to Feeding America, churches, and many other feeding agencies.

Back to that day at Bethel AME, one of the reasons we were in Baltimore serving venison spaghetti was to videotape a segment for a TV program about FHFH. That day, Justin Flaherty, one of the two Mossy Oak production people, called me aside to witness two teenage boys scraping their spaghetti pasta into the trash can. Together, we watched them return to the serving line for second and third helpings of spaghetti, each time devouring the spaghetti meat sauce and discarding the pasta for more … MEAT! MEAT! MEAT!

Childhood Hunger

Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important for establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15.8 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability and the potential for long-term consequences.

 15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2013.

 Twenty percent or more of the child population in 38 states and Washington, D.C. lived in food- insecure households in 2013, according to the most recent data available. The District of Columbia (31%) and Mississippi (29%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.

 In 2013, the top five places with the highest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

 In 2013, the top five states with the lowest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were North Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

 In 2013, 14.7 million or approximately 20 percent of children in the U.S. lived in poverty. Source: Feeding America

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