Growing children need good meals, but as we’ve seen already this summer, there are food drives that help fill the gaps when families can’t otherwise afford to send kids to school with a healthy lunch.
That isn’t a mere inconvenience to the children. Hunger makes it harder to learn.
Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter reports.
The group “Feed our Future” estimates around 170 students will be going into the next school year without enough food. Drives like these help hungry students to get the nutrition they need to be healthy and pay attention in school.
“You don’t have to be diabetic for your vision to go blur, if you are not having enough sugars, if your body is not at the place that it should be then your brain cannot focus,” said community dietitian for the HSA, Tamara Riley.
Not being able to focus makes being a student much more difficult.
“A child that may not be able to pay much attention in class, so you find that their attention span is very low, lower than usual. You can find that their cognitive development is not going in the direction that it should be going,” said Tamara Riley.
Cognitive development is a study of neuroscience that focuses on a child’s development when it comes to learning new things.
“For instance if you have a child that could perform at a certain standard, you will never know, because one, they are lacking in a certain area so therefore it’s impossible for them to perform at the level that you would, in your mind, think that they could perform”.
A limited ability to learn will slow down the process of graduating on time, but that’s not the only thing malnutrition slows down.
“If they are hitting puberty at 10,11, which is normal, they may not get there until 13, 14, so those are some things that can happen,” said Tamara Riley.