Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) joined the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire in releasing the New Hampshire Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger, a systemic guide to tackling the root causes of childhood hunger. The Roadmap was created through a year-long effort by a diverse coalition of anti-hunger and child advocates, business and community leaders known as New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. Key staff from the WIC Nutrition Program and the Obesity Prevention Program at DHHS participated in development of the guide over a period of one year. The Roadmap was released at the Henniker Community School, where the work of community partners and funders was recognized.
There is a critical need to address childhood hunger in the State, while highlighting the steps outlined in the Roadmap to achieve lasting change. The Roadmap is the first statewide plan of its kind in New Hampshire to outline steps in the effort to end childhood hunger. The Division of Public Health Services is committed to continuing the partnership with the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire to address availability of nutrition benefits from food and nutrition resources like the WIC Program and to collaborate with other federally funded nutrition programs in order to improve access to affordable healthy food.
“Public health nutrition programs, such as WIC, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, provide connections for children and adults to the healthy food they need every day,” said Dr. José Montero, director of the Division of Public Health Services at DHHS. “When children are hungry, they are more likely to have chronic health problems. Hunger also impedes their ability to learn and succeed in school.”
According to the report, one in four cities in New Hampshire is at high risk for food insecurity or the inability to access affordable healthy food. One in five households with children experiences food insecurity. The New Hampshire Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger recognizes the changes that communities need to make to ensure that no child goes hungry. To review the roadmap, go to http://www.childrennh.org/web/Hunger%20Solutions/hunger_initiative.htm. To learn more about the WIC Nutrition, Obesity Prevention, and Food Stamp Programs go to www.dhhs.nh.gov.