What Children Understand About Food Insecurity
Researchers have begun asking children about their households’ lack of food—and making surprising discoveries.
Starting midway through my sixth-grade year, off and on for three years, my mother and I were food insecure. This began when my mother left my father, then lost her job, the combination of which plunged us into temporary poverty—defined as less money than what you need to cover the basics, including food.
No one asked me about our diminished circumstances, but I certainly noticed that we’d gone from eating full food-pyramid dinners to eating beans on toast or scrambled eggs on toast or melted cheese on toast. I recognized the shame—my mother’s, which prevented her from talking about our situation; and my own, at being a burden to my parent. When I was alone and responsible for scrounging my own meals, I “helped” by skipping them.
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