Thursday, August 07, 2014

NEW REPORT CHARTS GROWTH OF CHILDHOOD HUNGER TO SUBURBS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     
August 7th, 2014                                                                    
CONTACT: Kimberley Pope, (602) 258-0019

NEW REPORT CHARTS GROWTH OF CHILDHOOD HUNGER TO SUBURBS; ARIZONA OFFICIALS JOINED ARIZONA FAIR SHARE EDUCATION FUND THURSDAY TO DISCUSS FINDINGS
Report shows food insecurity growing more rapidly in suburban neighborhoods than in rural or urban city areas!

Phoenix   – Arizona Fair Share Education Fund (AZFSEF) released Childhood Hunger in America’s Suburbs, a new report detailing the changing geography of childhood hunger at a time of growing suburban poverty, at a 10 a.m. news conference on Thursday. AZFSEF was joined by State Representative Lela Alston, State Representative Martin Quezada, and David Martinez III from St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to discuss the report.

“Childhood hunger has changed,” said AZFSEF State Organizer Kimberley Pope. “Hunger is no longer strictly an urban and rural phenomenon. It affects nearly every American community, including communities that might otherwise think child hunger is a problem that happens ‘somewhere else.’ Our perceptions have to change -- and with our perceptions, our policies.”

Representative Quezada added, “Arizona has an inexcusable amount of children dealing with food insecurity, roughly 1 in 3 kids, and all evidence shows that the numbers are growing despite our charitable efforts. This is a problem we can’t ignore.”

As Representative Alston stated, “Almost half of the children enrolled in Arizona’s

schools are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Those are kids in city schools, in suburban schools, in rural schools. Childhood hunger is not a problem that can be pinpointed to one area. This is widespread in our state, and every one of those kids deserves a better shot.”

David Martinez III has the unique experience of working with low-income families in a charity setting, and pointed out that every community has a different need. “St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and other charities are doing our part to try to close the child hunger gap by operating summer and afterschool meal programs in our community. But despite our efforts, we are still only able to reach a fraction of children in need. Charities likes ours could do far more to protect Arizona’s children from hunger if we had the choice of operating a meal program that matches our community’s needs, rather than forcing communities to adopt a one-size-fits-all model.”

Note to media: Arizona Fair Share Education Fund has pictures of Thursday’s event. To follow up, please contact Kim at kim@fairshareonline.org or call (602) 258-0019.


Arizona Fair Share Education Fund is a grassroots field and advocacy group, working to make sure everyone gets, pays, and does their fair share; and plays by the same rules. Find out more at http://www.fairshareonline.org/edfund

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