Food insecurity in Kan. children increasing

TOPEKA (KSNT) – New statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau outline that one in five children now receive food benefits. A huge number, that’s still growing.

“I don’t think that number of 1 in 5 children is a crazy number that are on food stamps. Because we see more and more children coming in with food stamps,” says Director of Development with Topeka’s Salvation Army, Beverly Peterson.

Even though the economy is better than prior years, Kansas families are still suffering. The prices of food have increased and the job market has changed.

“Even if people do have jobs, since the 2008 recession, they’re not the same jobs,” says Constituent Relationship Manager with Harvesters, Jannett Wiens.

Which means more families, needing something to fill the gap at home, are receiving food assistance. But even with food stamps, it’s often not enough.

“There’s still that gap that’s not being filled. Either through their paychecks, through government assistance, through their own resources, family support, whatever; there’s still a gap there,” says Peterson.

When a child misses a meal it hurts them even more than it would an adult. Missed meals in children can lead to developmental delays, behavioral issues, and trouble focusing in school.

“There’s no county in the state of Kansas that’s not affected by food insecurity,” says Wiens.

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