Children will not always tell you that they are hungry or that they do not have food at home. How can you identify a hungry child? 

Physical appearance: Puffy and swollen skin, extreme thinness, chronically dry, cracked lips, or chronically dry, itchy eyes, brittle, spoon-shaped nails, and remember that some obesity is caused by a poor diet.

Food insecure behavior: anxious for a meal to be served, rushing food lines, extreme hunger on Monday morning, eating all of the food served, and asking for more or seconds.

School Performance/Behavior: Excessive absences and/or tardiness, repeating a grade, difficulty in getting along with their peers, aggressive, irritable, anxious, withdrawn,  chronic illness (sore throat, colds, stomach aches, ear infections), short attention span, and inability to concentrate.

Home environment: Often cooks own meal or has a sibling who does, moves frequently, often spends the night away from home, parent loss of income, or family crisis.

As a caring adult, if you’re concerned a child isn’t getting enough to eat and you have observed that they exhibit several of the risk factors above, please refer them to Snack in a Backpack by clicking on the ‘Contact' page above.