More than 2 million Canadian children at risk of going to school hungry due to pandemic

 

While COVID-19 is causing health concerns for students and parents this school year, an unexpected side effect of the pandemic is the number of children who will have to go to school hungry.

This fall, more students than ever before are expected to go to school without breakfast due to financial hardship many families are facing due to loss of work caused by the pandemic.

According to the Breakfast Club of Canada, one in three children are at risk of going to school hungry this year, an eight per cent increase from the number of students who did so last year.

This means more than 2 million children in Canada will not be able to eat before going to school this year, which can have an adverse effect on their academics, as hunger can impair a child's learning, productivity, and social skills.

Additionally, according to a recent survey from Kellogg Canada, 34 per cent of Canadians are struggling to provide balanced meals for their families since the pandemic began.

Further, 23 per cent of respondents said they believe their family needs financial support, and 31 per cent said they believe families in their neighbourhood need assistance.

"It is frightening how we have seen food insecurity rising since the pandemic began," Lisa Clowery, Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Breakfast Club of Canada, said in a news release.

"As children head back to school, we can't let hunger get in their way. Our future depends on all of us helping these kids get the right start to every school day—whatever that day may look like in their region this year,” she continued.

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