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The Effects of Hunger On Children

Published: 3 May 2024, Friday

The Effects of Hunger On Children

In the fabric of our society, the effects of hunger or food insecurity cast a long shadow, affecting lives in more profound ways than many might realise. Particularly for children, the impacts of malnutrition can extend beyond hunger pangs and affect their physical well-being and mental resilience.

It is crucial that we, as a community, have a better understanding of these effects on children from disadvantaged backgrounds for the health and future of the society as a whole. In a study by Care Corner Singapore on its decade-long Circle of Care programme, the report presented that investing in disadvantaged young children could pay off sevenfold in the future.

Physical and Psychological Effects

The toll hunger and food insecurity takes on a child's development can be visible and distressing, marked by stunted growth, weakened immunity, and a heightened susceptibility to illness. However, the impact goes beyond their physical wellbeing.


The psychological ramifications are equally severe, with hunger clouding the mind, dampening spirits, and casting a pall over a child's ability to engage with the world around them. It is a dual effect that weighs heavily, sharing their fundamental experiences and interactions in various ways.


Nutrition, or the lack thereof, plays a critical role in a child's cognitive development and emotional stability. Without consistent access to nutritious food, children may face learning, concentration, and memory retention hurdles, which can set them back academically and socially. The emotional toll may manifest in feelings of anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal, compounding the challenges they face.


Behaviour and Decision-Making

The influence of hunger extends into a child's behaviour and decision-making, often pushing them into survival mode. This state of constant need can lead to short-term decision-making, prioritising immediate needs over long-term well-being. The repercussions may ripple, affecting their social interactions in classrooms and during playtime, academic performance, and relationships with family members and friends.

Living with food insecurity also strain relationships as stress and irritability become more frequent. It is a cycle that is hard to break, with each day's struggle for sustenance taking precedence over the other aspects of live, including education, hobbies, and social engagements.

Addressing Hunger's Impact

Understanding the multifaceted impact of hunger and food insecurity is the first step towards making a meaningful difference. It is not just providing a meal but about offering a lifeline that supports both the body and the mind. Initiatives like food donation drives and efforts to reduce food waste are crucial in this battle against hunger.

At Food from the Heart, we are committed to bridging this gap, ensuring that children in need receive the nourishment they require and the hope and support to thrive. Through our School Goodie Bag programme, we work directly with 42 schools to nourish the futures of more than 1,600 students. Our monthly food support allow them to focus on their growth, learning, and development.

A Call to Heartfelt Action

The journey from understanding the effects of hunger to taking action is one we must embark on together. Each gesture of support, whether through volunteering, organising or contributing towards a food donation drive, or simply spreading awareness, contribute a step towards reducing food insecurity. It is about more than just filling stomachs; it paves the way for nourishing futures by nurturing minds, uplifting spirits, and building a future where no child is left behind. 

Join Food from the Heart and take action to help the less fortune. Let us work hand in hand to give every child a lifetime of possibilities. Together, we can make a difference, one meal and one child at a time.



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