A Hunger-Free Future
Our economy may be slowly improving, but it will take a long time for food-insecure families to bounce back. "This recession will be permanently inscribed in the bodies and the brains of children growing up today," says Dr. Chilton. President Obama has pledged to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. The most concrete action to come from that pledge to date is the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which will expand the federal school-lunch program to provide healthy free or reduced-priced breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to more low-income students.
The Bardwells and Fedrick continue to try to improve their circumstances. Fedrick attends a culinary job-training program that she hopes will enable her to land a better-paying full-time job in a restaurant kitchen. "All I want is to be able to work hard and earn enough to take care of my children," she says. In the meantime, her daughter, Asyiah, has reached the "Why?" stage, which means Fedrick must face questions like "Why did they turn out the lights?" and "Why can't we get pizza for dinner?" "There aren't any simple answers, so I find myself saying 'Just because' or 'Maybe next time,'" Fedrick says. "And she just gives me that look, like she already knows what 'next time' means."