How hunger impacts children
“Do you eat every day?” This question has been asked by several children upon arriving in our care at Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH).
Prior to coming to BCH, many of our boys and girls did not know when or if they would eat from day to day.
According to No Kid Hungry North Carolina, one in four North Carolina children is at risk for hunger.
Linda Morgan, Statewide Director for Child/Residential Services, has seen the need time and time again in her 43 years with BCH.
“Many times, the children coming into the cottage have never experienced three meals a day and have not had enough to eat,” Morgan said. “Having food is a tremendously big deal to them.”
Feeding America, a nonprofit whose mission is to feed the nation’s hungry, explains that food insecurity – or being without access to sufficient amounts of food - is harmful to all people. It is particularly devastating to children and takes a terrible toll on their health and development.
The effects of hunger are long-lasting, which can impact a child’s ability to grow and learn. A hungry child struggles in an academic setting because they have no energy or motivation.
Meeting their basic needs, such as making sure they have plenty to eat, is essential for the development of children’s physical and mental health. It also helps them both socially and academically.
“Once you’re able to meet their basic needs – like food, clothing, shelter – children begin to trust and feel good about themselves,” Morgan said. “You're then able to start helping them deal with the issues that have brought them to BCH. You can’t help children until you first meet those basic needs.”
All of these reasons make the annual Food Roundup, which takes place throughout April, critical to the children and families in our care.
With your help, the Food Roundup ensures we are able to meet children’s physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and social needs.
The need for the Food Roundup is more important than ever! Over the past two years, the number of children living at BCH increased 24 percent. In addition, another cottage for girls is opening later year.
We serve as many as 700,000 meals and snacks every year feeding all of the children, families and special needs adults living at BCH.
“Food is by far the most important thing you can provide for the children,” Morgan said. “Once they know the food is going to be there, they begin to trust you and know that no matter what happens they are always going to be able to eat.”
You can make a difference by helping us provide food, hope and love! For more information on how you can be a part of meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these precious children, call Alan Williams at 336-474-1277 or go to www.bchfoodroundup.org