In Orange County, nearly half of public school kids rely on reduced or free school lunches for their major source of nutrition. That’s 222,000 kids who may well be going to bed hungry on weekends and during summer vacation.
Growing up in poverty, without proper nutrition, kids
• have poorer health
• lower educational achievement
• are more likely to take drugs
• and more likely to engage in criminal activity Obesity
Surprisingly, kids whose families can’t afford nutritious food are more likely to be obese, since cheap foods are higher in calories. Teens from low-income families are 3 times more likely to be obese, and 33.3% of all children in Orange County are already overweight.
These kids have increased risk of diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, plus the emotional effects of poor self-image, social stigmatization and isolation that can undermine their progress in school and life.