By Julia Tofan
[b]We've cut the number of people living in poverty [url=http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140916-world-hunger-malnourishment-security-ngfood/]in half[/url] since 1990[/b] and we produce enough food to exceed the World Food Programme's recommended 2,100 calories per person. However, [url=http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/communications/wfp220221.pdf][b]66[/b] [/url][b][url=http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/communications/wfp220221.pdf]million[/url] primary school students in the developing world go to school hungry[/b]. Millions more don't go to school at all due to malnutrition and poverty associated with hunger.
For children, the effects of hunger are vast. From suffering severe health problems and malnutrition to having to give up an education to go to work and support a family, hunger is devastating.
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According to the World Food Programme, [b]there's a solution[/b]. Many of the effects of hunger can be decreased and eliminated through school meal programs. School meal programs provide students with free or affordable meals and portions to take home. These programs protect the health of school aged children, incentivize school attendance, and stimulate local agriculture. [b]The effects of [url=http://www.wfp.org/school-meals]providing food in school[/url] on students are clear -- improved health, decreased drop-out rates, and increased attendance.[/b]
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Hunger and lack of education are part of a cycle that continues through generations. When people are hungry and impoverished, they suffer from poor health and cannot go to school. Their children suffer the same effects, often growing up without schooling. By providing just one person with food and education, the cycle can be broken. That's why instituting and maintaining these programs is critical to improving access to education -- and that's exactly what many of our partners are working on.
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Escuela Caracol is a school in Guatemala. Their name means "snail shell," a symbol of "the integration of life's facets into a common whole." Approximately [b]85% of the student body is made up of Mayan students who otherwise would not be able to afford tuition to go to school[/b]. Students at Escuela Caracol are accomplishing great things. They're helping their communities (learn more about their [url=http://escuelacaracol.org/garbage-collection-day-in-san-marcos-la-laguna/]garbage collection event[/url]!), learning about [url=http://escuelacaracol.org/hike-to-the-river/]the world around them[/url], and building strong character through a close and intercultural community.
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