Summit Tries To Combat Hunger in Latino Children


More than one in four Latino children under the age of 18 in the United States are unable to eat enough or eat nutritious food.The national average rate is 14.7 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
While 26.9 percent of Latinos 18 and under don’t get enough nutritious food, it’s a problem shared by almost 17 million children in America, according to a recent NBCLatino article.
Earlier this month, 250 community leaders, anti-hunger advocates, government officials and corporate executives met at Capitol Hill for the 2nd Annual NO MAS HAMBRE Summit. Also present were the Alliance to End Hunger, Latino Magazine and First Focus Campaign for Children.
The National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI) discussed the connection between poverty and obesity. NLCI is a non-profit group that was started 15 years ago to advocate for Latino children ages 0 to 18.
“When there’s poverty, people eat what’s cheap fast food, cheap drinks, poor quality bread … In many cases, sometimes the only meal children can count on is the one at the school. A lot of these families are increasingly getting their food from food banks,” said NLCI spokesperson Rita Jaramillo.
NLCI started a program called Salsa, Sabor y Salud, a healthy family curriculum designed to help all family members with diet and excercise. NLCI teaches Latinos nutritional tips such as drinking more water instead of fruit juices, which have a lot of sugar.  The program also shows families how to combat obesity on a tight budget.
Photo (c) NLCI