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Childhood Hunger Week Kicks Off in Broome County

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A quarter of children in Broome County live in poverty and in households which struggle to put food on the table.

For many their only regular meals come at school - and with the end of the school year approaching officials gathered at Roosevelt Elementary school in Binghamton to kick off child hunger awareness week.

The goal of the week is to raise awareness of the issue and groups feeding the hungry like the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse - or CHOW. Children who deal with food insecurity have find it harder to succeed in school and stay healthy.

"Teachers tell us that children come to school hungry. They have not had enough to eat. When children go home after school it's questionable for many of them where they're going to get their next meal," said Claudia Edwards, Director of the Broome County Health Department.

"We have a lot of kids who maybe ate one meal on Sunday. They roll in on Monday and might bring their own things from home but it might be a can of soda and a bag of chips. If it weren't for our healthy breakfast and snack and programs like that it would be a lot of chips and soda," said Dave Chilson, Principal at Roosevelt Elementary School.

51 percent of children in Broome County qualify for free or reduced-price meals.