Group 2 3 min Read

Hungry For Knowledge – The Crucial Link Between Hunger and Education

In Bellevue, 18% of children are living in poverty and food insecure. These children live in an environment that lacks reliable access to a sufficient quantity or quality of affordable, nutritious food. These kids struggle in the classroom hungry and lacking the resources they need to thrive.

Limited Bandwidth

“We all have limited cognitive bandwidth,” states a report from the American Psychological Association. “People tend to spend their limited mental reserves on resources they lack, so hungry children focus on food, which can lead to neglect of other areas of life such as schoolwork.”

“I could hear my stomach growl, I kept hoping that no one could hear it. I was concentrating more on the fact that I was hungry rather than what the teacher was saying.” – Alejandra, a Bellevue School District student

Studies show that food-insecure kids may perform worse on academic achievement tests and learn less during the school year. Without proper nutrition in their early years, many low-income children will fail to thrive academically.

Feeding the Need

However, improved nutrition can change the effects of not getting enough to eat early in life. Bellevue LifeSpring’s food programs are addressing hunger both in and out of the classroom:

  • School snack packs address hunger during school, supporting students whose schools don’t provide breakfast or who simply don’t have enough to eat at home. Each snack pack contains healthy, nut-free items like dried fruit, granola bars, crackers and applesauce. Breakfast snack packs can include shelf-stable milk and cereal to help kids start the day off right.
  • Breaktime-Mealtime™ supports students during breaks when they lack access to the free and reduced-price meals they usually receive through school. For many families living in poverty, there simply isn’t room for extra meals in the budget. Breaktime-Mealtime helps fill the gap and ensures that these children are well-fed and ready to learn when they return to the classroom.

Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up, they’ll tell you an engineer, a veterinarian, a firefighter, a doctor, a writer. These kids have big dreams and education is a vital first step to success. By making sure our kids are well-fed through programs like Breaktime-Mealtime, we create a level playing field so they can learn, grow and achieve their dreams.

“You feel more energized when you eat food and then when you go to school – when you’re full with energy, you do your best.” –Yahir, a Breaktime-Mealtime recipient

Bellevue LifeSpring is addressing the hunger happening here in Bellevue to ensure kids consistently receive the nutrition they need during this crucial step toward a lifetime of success. You can support hungry kids by hosting your own snack packing or by making a donation to Breaktime-Mealtime.

Subscribe to Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

By submitting this form, I agree to the Privacy Policy