#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. #GivingTuesday will kick off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on December 3rd, and throughout the year.
IM Kids joined the #GivingTuesday movement to help meet the growing need of food insecure children in the rural counties of Ionia and Montcalm. The program currently provides a ready-to-eat evening meal Monday-Friday to 688 food insecure children in eleven schools in these two counties. It takes $180 to feed one child for the school year. This is $20 per month per child. IM Kids 3rd Meal hopes to raise one month of meals for 688 food insecure meals at $20 for a goal of $13,760.
You can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor using PayPal on our website. IM Kids 3rd Meal operates under the 501(c)3, Michigan Center for 21st Century Teaching & Learning. This will come up when you click on the “Donate” button. Or you can send a check to:
IM Kids 3rd Meal2191 Harwood RoadIonia, MI 48846
Teachers and school staff are the first to witness the toll hunger takes on students. Statistics from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap for local school districts show:
-17.5% of Montcalm County’s children are food insecure (2580 children) (above the state average of 15.4%)
-15% of these children are not income eligible for the federal nutrition programs
-14% of Ionia County’s children are food insecure (2220 children)
-22% of these children are not income eligible for the federal nutrition programs
Studies have found that students who face food insecurity do not receive the nutrition that they need to succeed in the classroom. One study found that food insecurity in children resulted in lower academic performance increases between kindergarten and 3rd grade. Scores in mathematics were lower by 2.34 points on average and reading comprehension test scores were lower by 4.39 points on average than kids who receive proper nutrition.
Children from food insecure households are almost three times as likely to suffer from concentration problems which leads them to learn less than their peers throughout the school year. They are also more than four times as likely to suffer from fatigue, more than 12 times as likely to report dizziness, more than twice as likely to have frequent headaches, and almost twice as likely to have frequent ear infections and colds. These health issues put children at a higher risk for being more absent and tardy at school than other children. This can lead to grade repetition, falling behind their peers academically, and failure to complete a high school diploma. In addition to causing damage to the cognitive development of children, food insecurity also affects social development. Food insecurity is a known psychological and emotional stressor which affects a child’s behavior. This stress can often cause children to be anxious, aggressive, and have difficulty getting along with others. Studies show that children suffering from hunger are almost three times as likely to suffer from irritability. Food insecure children are also two times more likely to have high levels of hyperactivity and inattention than children who are not food insecure.
Students experiencing food insecurity rely on free or reduced price school breakfast and lunches during the school day to receive a well-balanced and healthy meal. The need is even higher than statistics of food insecurity illustrate, as studies have shown that children experience the effects of food insecurity even at the most marginal level of food deprivation. This means that many children who do not qualify for free and reduced meals at schools also experience hunger due to lack of available food in their household. Even if a student is eligible for and receives free and reduced meals at school, they do not have a reliable source of nutrition in the evening after school, during the weekends, or during holidays and time off from school.
Thank you for helping support meals for food insecure children!