Are local kids from under-resourced neighborhoods getting enough healthy food?
Often, the answer is no.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service one in six kids live in food-insecure households, which means they aren’t getting enough to eat.
Their parents have to choose between buying groceries and paying for unexpected expenses, like car repairs or medical bills. United Way's research backs this up - our ALICE Report found that 24% of Champaign County families earn more than the federal poverty line, but not enough to afford basic household essentials. An additional 20% of families earn less than the federal poverty level - meaning an astounding 44% of area families have a tough time making ends meet.
When parents can afford food, items that have high calories and low nutritional value are the ones that help stretch a limited budget the furthest. These difficult choices mean the whole family has a diet that is often too low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, and too high in added sugars, sodium, and solid fats.
High blood pressure. Diabetes. Heart disease. Asthma. Depression.
These are just some of the serious and costly health problems that are associated with poverty and food insecurity.
You can help
We all can do our part to make it easier for families to eat healthy on a budget. When you give to United Way of Champaign County, you are supporting local families and providing critical help to food programs. Financial support can often be stretched further by our food partners because of bulk purchasing deals. Plus, cash donations help programs purchase fresh fruit and vegetables - items they usually can't get from food drives.
We also partner with local agriculture leaders for the Farmers Feeding Families program. The proceeds from this program boost our support of area food programs by an incredible 33 percent!
Healthy families mean healthy communities. When you help local families be healthier our entire community benefits. So join in and take a stand against hunger!