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Needing Nutrition

Our group, Needing Nutrition, is focused on the importance of nutrition for children. We began with these questions:  What happens if kids do not have access to a nutritious diet? And, how can we help these kids? Our individual projects focus on issues related to childhood hunger, including foster care, free lunch programs, obesity in children, and the effects hunger has on children’s education.

Our group also produced a healthy food booklet for kids on a budget. The healthy eating on a budget booklet that was approved by Dr. Joanne Christaldi, assistant professor for nutrition and dietetics at Marywood University. It includes the major food groups and different types of foods that are inexpensive and healthy.

Individual Stories

Foster care kids struggle with food insecurities

By Mandy Scritchfield, freshman communication arts major

Janet Wentum is a single mom. But, she’s not your typical mom.

Janet is “mom” to two foster children, two girls ages 4 and 17. She has no kids of her own, but at 50 years old, Wentum has been a foster parent for two years now. She has a love for children, and loves being a foster parent. Read more

Hungry children have difficulty learning

By Meghan O’Hara, junior English major

Hunger has long been shown to have an affect on a child’s ability to excel in the classroom, and recent local statistics don’t provide reason for optimism in our own communities.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) childhood hunger has been increasing every year since 2000. In 2009, The Times-Tribune reported that 32 out of 37 school districts in northeast Pennsylvania failed to meet the state average score for the SAT. Teachers, nurses, and doctors alike all agree that hunger affects children’s ability to learn and comprehend. Read more…

Obesity and Malnutrition-A Growing Problem

By Shalon Corrigan, sophomore communication arts major

According to the U.S Department of Human and Health Services, more than 9 million children between the ages of 6 – 19 are overweight or obese. That means 32 percent of children are in danger of dealing with health-related complications like diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension all before they get their drivers license.

In Pennsylvania alone, 28.6 percent of kids are obese, and in Lackawanna County 25.6 percent of kids are obese. Read more…

Local programs available to help prevent child hunger

By Vikki Hartt, junior, communication arts major

Hunger affects people of all different shapes and sizes, genders and races, creeds and religions. But, the effects of hunger are often most easily seen in children.

According to the USDA, more than 16 million children in the United States lived in food insecure households in just 2010. Consequently, the major and most crucial time of growth in humans is in the first eight years of a child’s life, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Read more…



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