One of the effects of my heart attack has been to make me more determined than ever to fight for food-insecure children. As well as continuing to provide food for our Cincinnati children, CFS must influence others to copy what we do. This requires thinking differently about the role of schools in the life of children whose family situation does not always provide food to fuel their learning.
I believe that the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has to become a “Year-round Student Nutrition Program”. The NSLP provides food on 180 school days which is 50% of the year. This leaves 185 non-school days where 50% of a food-insecure child’s brain development takes place. In fact, nutrition contributes to the child’s physical, mental and emotional development.
Food-insecure children need year-round nutritional support if they are to become productive citizens.
In our ten years, CFS has developed methods for year-round food distribution. Academic and health measurements have improved but statistics cannot “prove” gains for such a small sample. Going forward, we hope to see similar improvements in statistics for all the children we can reach.