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Study: Lots of CT Kids are Hungry

September 8, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - A new report indicates Connecticut still has a way to go in eliminating childhood hunger across the state. The report was released by Foodshare, the greater Hartford area regional foodbank, and Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.

Dawn Crayco, deputy director of End Hunger Connecticut, says the report indicates a lot of kids are hungry across the state.

"One in five children in Connecticut is food insecure; they lack access to enough food to live a healthy life and a productive life and be productive members of society."

The "Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011" report says Connecticut is doing better than much of the rest of the nation, where the report says one in six Americans is food insecure. According to Foodshare, local organizations are working hard to change the numbers by supporting long-term programs that teach people to be self-sufficient, because food distribution alone will not solve the problem.

There are things that can be done right now - with programs that already exist - to help kids who are hungry, Crayco says.

"For example, Connecticut is last in the nation for the number of schools that offer the school breakfast program."

She says only about half the schools in the state are involved in the program, which has a track record of improving students' academic performance.

The study results will help policy-makers identify the needs of hungry children and families across the state, Crayco adds. The report is available at www.feedingamerica.org.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - CT