Childhood Nourishment Part 5

September is Hunger Action Month

Myth Busters addition

“Bats are blind,” “The great wall of China can be seen from space,” “It takes seven years to digest swallowed chewing gum:”  I think most of us have heard these myths growing up.

Of course, as we have grown up we have learned that Bats can see better than most humans, especially in the dark.  The wall is only 13-16 feet across and hasn’t been seen by astronauts from space.  And according to the Mayo Clinic gum has moved through your system in about 36 hours.

Many of us have also heard myths surrounding hunger in America.

A myth I have frequently heard as a guest speaker in college classes is, “a government agency will take care of all child hunger issues in America.”  Although the USDA has SNAP, WIC, TEFAP, and several other programs that target hunger, not all children are able to be adequately fed through government programs.  Schools and health clinics are two of the biggest avenues of disbursement of food resources to hungry kids through government money.  Schools and health clinics are not visited by children 365 days a year.  But hunger is daily. Schools have the best ability to feed students more days of the year than any other institution (other than the family).  But schools have the ability to opt out of feeding programs and many do.  Additionally, when a school does participate there sometimes is a matrix used that disqualifies some hungry children.  Requirements don’t account for individual families’ debt obligations, health and medication expenses, cost of living in certain areas, and other socioeconomic considerations.

The government will feed all hungry children myth is…


As the Gives Foundation has presented money to feed kids across East Tennessee, we have found that may agencies, churches, and mobile pantries have gone into hidden and forgotten places and sought out kids that most did not know about and fed them.  One police chaplain working with a mobile pantry was taken up a mountainside where he found hungry kids living in a tent.  He was able to garner proper resources that those kids were properly sheltered, clothed and fed.  The president of our credit union has indicated that, “to meet the needs of hungry children the answers will be found in people helping people.”

More good news!  The good people associated with the Gives Foundation have worked hard and delivered over $1.5 million in financial relief to proven agencies that are feeding hungry children.

You can support the foundation in feeding kids by sponsoring a fundraising event, buying chocolate at a Y-12 FCU branch, or giving directly to the Foundation and in September you can go to any branch and donate cans and dry food goods to feed children at Thrive.

Let’s work together to fight childhood hunger.

Dr. Gary Brewster
Executive Director
Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation