Judy Pasternak rounds up stats on hungry children and sees unmistakable signs that a "crisis" looms this summer. Because of the recession, more kids than ever needed subsidized lunches during the school year. Now that school is letting out, the USDA's "patchwork" and "jerry-rigged" summer programs won't be able to get food to all of them, meaning that "more than 16 million children face a summer of hunger," she writes at AOL.
"The children caught in the gap will likely spend the next few months cadging leftovers from neighbors, chowing down on cheap junk, lining up with their families at food banks that are already overmatched or simply learning to live with a constant headache, growling stomach and chronic fatigue," she writes. "When school rolls around again in the fall, they will be less healthy and less ready to learn than their peers."