Hard to build success on empty stomachs

In response to the article, "Students' empty stomachs…" of Dec. 24 and the Dec. 26 editorial, "Hunger among our children on rise":

The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, designed a "Hierarchy of Needs" which describes the order in which children and adults build toward their best selves. The foundation cluster of needs includes food and shelter. Physical and fina•cial security is level two. Level three is best described as comfort with acquaintances, and four is social-emotional fulfillment (including friends, family, and trusted adults). Intellectual growth comes in at level five, after the other four needs are met.

Any time that a lower level need is unmet, one tumbles back to meet that need and then mend through all of the levels that one had previously attained. Imagine the stamina required to thrive when one is hungry. Ditto recovery from being bullied (level two).

In a world where hunger for intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual pursuits is held up as the goal, to become Maslow's "self-actualized" person, daily hunger for a huge percentage of school children is untenable.

The Community Coalition for Children, "helping children thrive," will focus its annual programs next fall on student health, with hunger and malnourishment being a prime target. Visit: www.communitycoalitionforchildren.org.

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