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Jeff Bridges takes on childhood hunger

CJ Westerberg, September 22, 2010 10:52 AM


Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"

"Obesity is just the flip side of this hunger issue"
- Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
Video Below

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges has become "the voice" for the Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry organization, leading the charge against childhood hunger.  He joined Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle on today's "Morning Joe" program with a call to action to end hunger through a public-private partnership, volunteering and other initiatives that insure funds set aside for free or reduced price meals get to the children in need.

Did you know? This also applies to parents who think their kids can "get by" with a donut for breakfast as a "treat":

Hunger impairs our children's health in significant and long-lasting ways:

  • Children who struggle with hunger are sick more often, recover more slowly, and are more likely to be hospitalized, at an average cost of $12,000 per pediatric stay.
  • They are more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds, ear infections and fatigue.
  • Children who face hunger are more susceptible to obesity and its harmful health consequences as children and as adults.
  • Hunger impedes our children's ability to learn and perform academically.
  • Undernourished children under the age of 3 cannot learn as much, as fast or as well.
  • Lack of enough nutritious food impairs a child's ability to concentrate and perform well in school.
  • Children who don't get enough nutritious food are more susceptible to the negative effects of skipping breakfast on their ability to think and learn.

Hunger predisposes our children to emotional and behavioral difficulties:

  • Children who regularly do not get enough nutritious food have have more behavioral, emotional and academic problems and tend to be more aggressive and anxious.xii
  • Teens who regularly do not get enough to eat are more likely to be suspended from school and have difficulty getting along with other kids.
Mike Barnicle at the 3:30 mark asked why so many disadvantaged children are obese by eating the wrong food.   Jeff Bridges responded by saying that obesity is the flip side of the hunger issue with unhealthy, fast cheap food becoming the default.  Bridges also urged viewers to
contribute by taking the pledge to end childhood hunger and to check out the site to get involved.   A few more stats:

  • There are 17 million kids in food-insecure homes, representing one in four kids
  • 20 million kids receive free or reduced lunch in school, but only 10 million receive free breakfast
  • 10 million eligible kids don't receive free or reduced price meals
  • Only 2 million kids receive free meals in the summer

Video below:

  Published The Daily Riff:  11/6/10

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