Food insecurity threatens 1 in 4 North Carolina preschoolers
A new report issued yesterday by Feeding America shows that large percentage of preschool children are victims of food insecurity. Louisiana has the highest rate of food insecurity in children under the age of 5, followed closely by North Carolina, where 24.1% do not get adequate nutrition to support healthy growth and development.
The first three years of life are the most critical period of brain growth and development. Child hunger causes physical and mental impairment that may never be reversed.
Through preschool programs like SmartStart and More at Four, North Carolina has made significant gains against the adverse effects of child poverty, but as this report shows we have more work to do. Now is not the time to cut these programs, if anything we need to expand them.