Online since 2002 |   866-316-0162

Articles and News

Back to School means Back to Food Security!

Back to School means Back to Food Security!
Gazala Bohra

A few years ago, while out on a run with a teacher friend of mine, I learnt a shocking fact about childhood hunger. Till then, a term like ‘childhood hunger’ was in my mind a problem associated with third world countries. Never in my wildest imagination would I have considered it as an issue for USA, a first world country. That morning we were out on a long run on a holiday weekend and Erica, my running buddy who at that time was a kindergarten teacher was talking about how she worried for some of her students when they went home on such long weekends. She worried that while on other weekends it was about two days of food uncertainty, a long weekend would make that into 3 days of not knowing when and if at all they will get food to eat! I did literally stop short on the tracks and my puzzled expression made it clear to her that I lived in a bubble unaware of such problems in our society. She explained that through government funding most of her students ate free breakfast and lunch in school and most days those were the only meals they ate. They came from really poor families and there was no guarantee if their parents would be able to provide dinner for the family every night. She could tell if a child had eaten dinner the night before or not by the way they ate their breakfast in school that morning. Monday mornings were the most painful for her to watch and if it had been a long weekend, you could see the physical signs of hunger on some of those kids. This is unbelievably and sadly still the case in many schools in present day America.

More than 48,500 children in the State of Montana are food insecure, which means they don’t know where their next meal will come from! This statistics from puts the rate of childhood food insecurity for the state at 22% which is higher than the National average. In the city of Helena, 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger! So it is not a surprise that kids look forward to going back to school with an added eagerness. For them this excitement is not about new backpacks, new clothes, or even brand new supplies. They are looking forward to getting at least two meals a day.

 Back to School means Back to Food Security!

Earlier in August the new administration revealed their “skinny budget”, a rough sketch of their fiscal priorities and objectives which included deep cuts to education and nutrition programs. If put into effect these cuts would mean no more free meals for poor kids in school. A hungry kid does not simply suffer a grumbling stomach or daydream of a hot cheesy slice of pizza during a math class. Kids have a high metabolism and food is vital for their growth. Hunger or malnutrition can cause long lasting physiological damage and hamper their brain development significantly. Low iron content and long term food insecurity can cause irreversible cognitive delays. Hunger in children can manifest itself as agitation or irritability and justifiably so because when blood glucose levels dip, adrenalin, cortisol and other hormones are released causing the irritability. Hunger in school age kids is directly linked to their inability to focus, poor performance, lower grades, missing school and often not being able to move up and repeating grades.

While the impending change in fiscal policies has put a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the school breakfast and lunch programs in many States, the one thing that gives hope and continues to support these children and their fight against weekend hunger is the programs that deliver weekend nutrition/food to kids in school every week to ensure that they are fed even when they are not in school. One such charity, Helena Food Share based in Montana delivers at least 1000 kids packs to elementary schools in Helena every week.

Back to School means Back to Food Security!

Kid Packs are distributed in partnership with elementary schools in Helena and East Helena and the Head Start program, where staff members at each school ensure packs go home with kids on Friday whom they have identified as being at risk for weekend hunger. Each kid pack provided free of cost to these children costs $3.25 and contains shelf stable milk, juice, low sugar granola bars, dry cereal, oatmeal, easy mac, pop-top meal in a can, fruit cups, peanut butter and kamut. 13 Elementary schools and Head Start are kids pack partners. 1000+ kids receive a kid’s pack each week and that makes the annual program cost more than $100,000.

Besides the Kids Pack, Helena food share provides emergency food to 1500 families in the Helena area. They distribute 6000 pounds of food to local families each day. With an open door pantry, over 8000 needy people are served each year with dignity and respect. It takes a whole community to make their programs possible.

This fall as kids head back to school,, an online retailer for healthy living and wellness products has joined the fight against childhood hunger by hosting a Giving Day to benefit Helena Food Share. On Friday, September 8th HPFY will donate 10% of its sale to Helena Food Share in the hopes that more kids will benefit from the kids pack program.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Gazala Bohra

Gazala Bohra

LinkedIn Profile


Gazala Bohra has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2017.

Gazala takes health and wellness seriously and personally. An avid runner, she has completed several half-marathons and long-distance relay races. When ...

Continue reading

Trending Articles

Enteral Feeding: The What, When, and How

Shweta Chaubey

When traditional oral intake is not feasible, enteral feeding comes into play. It supports nutritional needs of individuals recovering from an injury or surgery. Dive into this informative article and learn what, when, why, and how of enteral feeding and ensure optimal patient care.

Using the Carpal Solution Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support

Kevin Cleary

Looking for a non-invasive option to manage carpal tunnel symptoms? Experience relief from constant tingling and pain with this Carpal Solution Wrist Support. Read this article to know about the unique features and benefits of this wrist support brace designed to deal with CTS and find why it is one of the most reliable wrist braces available on the market.

Top 5 Best Reviewed Nebulizers of 2023

Kevin Cleary

Need an effective and affordable nebulizer? Look no further, in this article we offer 5 of our best reviewed nebulizers that are loved by our customers. Click to read more and find the perfect nebulizer for all your respiratory needs.

10 Best Overnight Adult Diapers

Shweta Chaubey

Worried about nighttime leaks? Say goodbye to leakage with our ten best overnight adult diapers and wake up refreshed and dry.

Five Best Cervical Traction Devices of 2023

Taikhum Sadiq

Neck pain can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy life. Traction device improves your cervical health and overall well-being. Read more to find our best cervical traction devices designed to curb the stiffness and discomfort of cervical muscles.