It is hard to imagine there are babies and toddlers who go to bed hungry, yet it happens every day in Oklahoma. The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kid Count Data Center shows Oklahoma as tied for fifth highest ranking in the U.S. based on the percentage of children living in poverty, Children born into poverty are at great risk of experiencing food insecurity. Children experiencing food insecurity often go without food and, as a result, are undernourished. In Oklahoma County alone, 23 percent of children live in poverty and are at great risk of experiencing the negative effects of hunger.
Hunger is a silent killer. It kills the mind of a child. Hunger impairs our children's ability to learn in many significant ways. Even moderate undernutrition experienced by young children during critical periods of growth impacts children's behavior, their performance in school and their overall cognitive development. Undernourished children under the age of three do not learn as much, as fast or as well as other children.
Babies are incredibly sensitive to hunger. Hunger puts their little bodies under stress, and prolonged stress weakens a baby's ability to fight away illness. When babies are consistently stressed, it can permanently affect their immunity leading to serious medical issues.
Infant Crisis Services provides to more than 1,000 babies and toddlers at risk of going hungry with a week's worth of formula, food, diapers and other basic neccessities they need and deserve to grow and develop properly.
Posted on Tue, December 7, 2010
by Amy Spielberger