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In North Carolina, 1 in 4 children is at risk for hunger.

In our 7 counties alone, over 118,000 children applied to receive free/reduced-price lunch for the 2014-2015 school year. That’s almost 44% of all children in these public school systems that are at risk of hunger. Statewide, the number increases to almost 53% of children seeking free or reduced price lunch.

Free & Reduced School Lunch Applications
County Total Applications Total Students % Need
Chatham 4,444 8,330 53.35%
Durham 20,691 33,160 62.40%
Edgecombe 3,797 5,854 64.86%
Johnston 16,082 34,019 47.27%
Nash 10,545 15,703 67.15%
(Includes Orange County Schools & Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools)
6,631 19,521 33.97%
Wake 55,845 152,089 36.72%
IFFS Totals 118,035 268,676 43.93%
Via most recent data (2014-2015 school year) from the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction

Unfortunately, not all struggling families submit applications. Furthermore, not all 753,817 who applied get qualified for free/reduced-price lunch or for SNAP benefits. Those children depend on organizations like ours – making food banks the safety net for the safety net.

Hungry kids can’t learn or develop normally.

Good nutrition is critical in the first years of life, and childhood food insecurity can lead to developmental, health, and behavioral problems, as well as make it more difficult to concentrate and do well in school.  For more information, see Feeding America’s Fact Sheet on the Impact of Hunger on Child Development.

We believe hunger is unacceptable, and so do our friends at No Kid Hungry! Children deserve the chance to have healthy meals and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

Child Poverty in North Carolina2 

  • 29.8% of children 0-4 yrs old live below the poverty line
  • 25.4%  of children 0-18 yrs old live below the poverty line

Learn More and Take Action

To learn how Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is working to ensure kids in our community have enough to eat year round. click here.

You can help raise awareness about child hunger! To learn how, click here.



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