Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Melinda Goldner




hunger, childhood, children, programs, summer


This thesis examines childhood hunger as roughly 1 in 5 kids live in households that struggle to put food on the table. These children experience physical problems as a result of their food instability, but this problem is connected to other personal and societal issues, such as poor education. To understand how hunger affects children, this study began with a historical analysis of the past 60 years of government supported programs and policies, such as the school breakfasts and summer lunch programs. Four interviews were conducted with different experts in the field, specifically three individuals from a prominent national non‐profit organization and the director of a local summer meals program. Major findings from the interviews and research suggest that childhood hunger is still a very significant issue today. In 2013, 8.6 million children lived in households that reported being food insecure. One of President Barack Obama’s campaign promises was to end childhood hunger in the United States by 2015. The current programs, such as breakfast in the classroom, summer lunch, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are helping but there is still a lot of work to be done. More research and funding should be put towards the summer lunch program and non-profits in order to be more effective, because this research suggests that programs that assist children outside of the home are most helpful. In order to make progress towards ending childhood hunger we need to form a more united front among all participating parties so that best practices and resources can be shared.