Letter to the Editor: Fighting childhood hunger is route to future prosperity


While many of us don’t often think about it, a large number of Virginians go hungry every day — about 12.1 percent, according to Feeding America. This is unacceptable.

In last week’s article in the Northern Virginia Daily — “Despite lower unemployment rate, food insecurity remains constant” — Blue Ridge Food Bank CEO Michael McKee said that prosperity is the real long-term solution to the problem of food insecurity. So how do we make Northern Virginia more prosperous?

One of the first things we can do is make sure that kids in school aren’t hungry. When kids are hungry, they struggle to learn and when kids struggle to learn, they struggle in life, which just makes the problem worse.

Countless studies show that kids who eat meals at school are more attentive and learn better. By providing children with school lunches and even school breakfasts, we are not only helping to curb hunger in the short run, but we are investing in our future prosperity.

If we want our kids to grow up and be self-sufficient, it starts with making sure they get a good education and a good start in life. The truth is, we can do a better job of ending hunger in Northern Shenandoah and around the state. I think expanding these programs is a critical first step.

Nick Arent, Virginia Fair Share Education Fund