Recently, the UNC School of Government reported more than 33 percent of children in Rutherford County do not know where they will get their next meal. Statistics show many of the students are in school. According to the latest statistics from the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill, 33.7 percent of the county's children live in food insecure homes (FIH). It is the third highest in the state behind Scotland and Robeson counties both reporting 34 percent.
Maureen Brenner, professor at the UNC School of Government, said "Childhood food insecurity is at an all-time high, and more disturbing is that the majority of public school children across the state - 64% - now qualify for free and reduced price lunch. While there are some signs of hope for future growth, such as a lower unemployment rate, economic gains are not yet making their way down to families facing economic hardship.

The Daily Courier, January 29, 2015
Image retrieved from on December 7, 2015.

Research has found food-insecure students between six and 11 years of age scored lower than their food-secure peers on a measure of child intelligence and were more likely to have seen a child psychologist. Those same children had a harder time getting along with their peers, were more likely to repeat a grade, and scored lower on standardized tests than their non-food-insecure classmates. Children with poor nutrition get sick more often too, leading them to miss classes.