What Hunger Looks Like
Signs of Hunger
Food Insecure: The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as households that are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for an active healthy life.
In Children CHRONIC and REOCCURING signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Being anxious for a meal to be served
- Rushing food lines
- Eating all of their food at meal times
- Extreme hunger on Monday mornings
Food insecurity is present when these signs and symptoms occur on a regular basis, not just once or twice. Other signs to look for in children include:
- Extreme thinness or puffy, swollen skin
- Excess absences
- Hyperactive, aggressive, irritable, anxious, withdrawn, distressed
- Repetition of grade
- Difficulty getting along with others
- Short attention span, inability to concentrate
- Lack of food resources
- Parent unable to prepare meals
In Seniors Health Consequences of Hunger
- Significantly more likely to have lower intakes of calories that provide energy
- Significantly more likely to have low intakes of vitamins
- Significantly more likely to be in poor or fair health
- More likely to have limitations in activities of daily living
Who receives food assistance?
Today more than ever, many people receive food assistance. For most, the need is brief and serves as a helping hand between jobs or in times of disaster or dire circumstances. For others, the need is ongoing.
Demographic Profile of Food Clients:
- 94% of clients at emergency food programs are U.S. citizens
- 63% are female; 55% are male
- 43% are households with single parents, among households with children <18
- 19% of households have a member 65 or older
- 11% are households where a grandparent provides basic needs for a grandchild
- 10% of emergency food clients are homeless (multi-generational and single-parent families are common)
- 8% of households have a non-family member Source: Feeding America
Those in need of food come from all walks of life. Half are children, elderly or disabled. Most adults are anxious to be able to feed their own families. In fact, many are working but they don't earn enough to puchase the food they need. Don't fall for stereotypes!