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A new study recently featured on National Public Radio shows how early experiences with food insecurity may negatively affect children’s academic and social skills when they enter kindergarten years later. Researchers Anna D. Johnson and Anna J. Markowitz found that kindergarten students who had experienced food insecurity during their infant or toddler years had lower reading and math scores, increased hyperactivity and conduct problems, and decreased focus and eagerness to learn compared to peers who had not experienced early childhood hunger.
This study joins a substantial body of research establishing the significance of consistent food security for children’s health, development, and academic performance, and underscores the importance of federal nutrition programs working to alleviate hunger, including SNAPSummer Mealsschool meals programs, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
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NPR: Kids Who Suffer Hunger In First Years Lag Behind Their Peers In School