To the Editor:
Soon, children throughout the Wabash Valley will return to school.
While many children will complain about losing their summer freedom, for others, school is the only place where they are guaranteed a meal.
On the first day of school in our community, children experiencing hunger will have already fallen behind their classmates.
These children will have more difficulty concentrating in class, be sick more often during the school year and be less likely to excel academically.
Proper nutrition plays a vital role in growth and development of children, particularly low-income children. According to Hunger in America 2010, a comprehensive profile of the incidence and nature of hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. conducted by Feeding America, 62 percent of all client households with children under the age of 18 participated in a school lunch program, but only 14 percent participated in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out.
We can solve child hunger in our community.
Regardless of our profession or political beliefs, we need to join together to ensure that all children get the nutritious meals they need every day.
Through national child-feeding programs such as Kids Café and the BackPack program, Terre Haute Catholic Charities Food Bank and Feeding America provide additional meals for children whose families cannot afford to keep food on the table.
Together, we can provide a better tomorrow for children in need.
For more information on how you can help, please visit our website at www.CatholicCharitiesTerreHaute.org or call 812-232-1447.
John C. Etling,
Catholic Charities Terre Haute