Over the past few years, the recession and now economic recovery, have taken a toll on just about everyone, especially our youth.
According to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, nearly 54% of children statewide are eligible for free and reduced meals. That means more than 227,000 kids don't have enough money for meals.
Those numbers don't get much better here in Washoe County. More than 45% of students are eligible for free or reduced school meals.
That percentage represents more than 28,000 students.
I sat down with Jocelyn Lantrip from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada for my weekend show Face the State and asked her why the issue is getting worse.
"We are still seeing people out of work, people struggling. We haven't seen things level off as far as the Food Bank is concerned. These numbers of children are shocking. This means one in two children in our state is hungry."
Lantrip said while the need grows, the threat of budget cuts is looming. SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - is the largest federally funded program helping feed children in this country.
Lantrip said lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking to cut billions from SNAP's budget. She said if that happens, many more children will go hungry. She said those who receive assistance from SNAP send her stacks of thank you notes written on paper plates. I asked her to read some of them.
"One person wrote, 'A good night's sleep, an egg in the stomach leaves. Thank you.' These are notes from families with kids. Another one reads, 'I can't find work. I have three children. If it wasn't for SNAP, my kids wouldn't eat.'"
To watch the entire interview, tune into Face the State this weekend. The show airs on Channel 2 Saturday at 4:30am and 3:30pm.
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:59 AM EDT2013-05-23 06:59:26 GMT
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