Hunger in Our Community

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    Hunger in the United States

    48 Million People

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    Hunger in Ohio

    19% of Ohio Residents

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    Hunger in Lucas County

    28% of Lucas County Residents

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    Childhood Hunger in the United States

    13 Million Kids

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    Childhood Hunger in Ohio

    Nearly 700,000 Kids

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    Childhood Hunger in Lucas County

    1 in 4 Kids

  • More than 8 out of 10 students at Toledo Public Schools qualify for Free or Reduced Meals during the school year.
  • 6 out of 10 students at Washington Local Schools qualify for Free or Reduced Meals during the school year.
  • 22 Million kids qualify for Free or Reduced Meals in the United States. More than half of public school students, for the 1st time ever.
  • According to the Borgen Project released in 2016, children from poor backgrounds tend to lag behind academically; by age 3, low income kids are estimated to be about 9 months behind versus kids from wealthier backgrounds.
  • The same report indicated that children from poor backgrounds, in the absence of regular nutritious meals are more likely to experience high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and other health issues.
  • 3 out of every 4 teachers report that kids come to school hungry on a regular basis.
  • In Toledo, 28% of residents live in poverty.
  • Over the last few years several suburban school districts have seen a rise in the number of children qualifying for the free or reduced meal program.

Food insecurity is particularly devastating for children.  Not having enough healthy food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity.  Research shows an association between food insecurity and delayed development in young children; risk of chronic illnesses like asthma and anemia; and behavioral problems like hyperactivity, anxiety and aggression in school-age children.

Ohio is among eight states whose rates remained significantly higher than the national average of 14.6 percent. In Ohio 21.9% of children under the age of 18 living in households that experienced limited or uncertain availability of safe, nutritious food at some point during the year. (Source: Feeding America).  This means nearly 700,000 children are not getting the proper nutrition to thrive.

Here in Lucas County, a staggering number, as many as 38% of students qualify for free or reduced meals at school during the academic school year.  For example, at Toledo Public schools (TPS) over 80% of the students qualify while at Washington Local Schools, nearly 60% qualify.

Similarly, right next door in Wood County 31% of the school age children qualify for free or reduced meals.  In fact, one of our partner sites has over 90% of the children who qualify.

As you can see, childhood hunger knows no geographic barriers.  The position that we hold at Connecting Kids to Meals is critical because for many kids, they would go hungry without our help.


No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Visit Share Our Strength

Feeding America

Feeding America's mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Visit Feeding America

Food Research & Action Center

FRAC is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

Visit FRAC


“We come four days a week…. [and] meet at 9 o’clock each morning so they don’t get used to sleeping in during the summer. We focus on reading, math, [and other] activities. We hire youth to serve as our group’s eight counselors [and] have an average of 15 to 30 kids every day at the camp. We go the movies and the library once a week. It’s good for the kids, having both lunch and a snack. The parents like that we bring the kids every day.”
– Natalyn, Deliverance House of God


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