Every day, millions of children go to school without enough food to provide the proper nutrition they need. Although there are more than 20 million children in the reduced or free lunch program when that is the only meal the child receives in a day, the ability of the child’s body to grow or maintain a clear mental development is nearly impossible. When summer comes, and most children look forward to playing in the sun, 18 million of the lunch program children will lose their one sure meal a day. Here are some other startling facts about children and hunger.

1. Going to School Hungry

Although many teachers don’t know the students well enough to determine the family life of each child, many can tell when a child arrives at school hungry. When there is inadequate food at home, the child doesn’t have the proper nutrition to be able to learn because there is no glucose to the brain. Some schools are providing much needed breakfast programs for children to help curb learning issues associated with hunger.

2. Experiencing Color Matters

Every year the number of black and Latino children suffering from hunger continues to rise. Although some people believe it is due to unequal financial resources, the reason for the problem is still unknown – but growing.

3. Repeating a School Grade

When children are hungry, they are reportedly more than twice as likely to need to repeat a grade. That is because of the lack of food causes headaches, inability to focus, anxiety, and depression. It can also result in behavioral issues. When Eyal Gutentag noticed the problem in his community, he helped fight this problem in Los Angeles with a large grant from his charity.

In a world with so many trillionaires, it should be the right of every child to have enough food to eat. Attending school on an empty stomach is cruel and unusual punishment, and it shouldn’t be allowed.