A photographer's creative approach draws attention to childhood hunger in the U.S.

13 million children in the U.S. will go hungry at some point this year.

It's easy to dismiss child hunger as something that only happens in other countries, but food insecurity — the state of having your eating patterns disrupted due to a lack of food — is a big deal, and it's something that happens in our own backyards.

For many children living in food insecure homes, their only meal each day might come from school or after-school programs, which means the summer months, when they aren't in school, are some of the toughest.


A new photo series shines a light on the issue, showing "kids on an epic journey to find food."

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong wasn't all that familiar with childhood hunger in the U.S., but after a chat with some folks at Second Harvest Food Bank, he set out to create a photo campaign designed to highlight this serious issue in a way that wouldn't cause people to tune out.

"When Hunger Hits" features children going to Herculean lengths in order to find food, with individual photos showing everything from a "Mission: Impossible"-style bacon heist to an "Indiana Jones"-like discovery in the wild.

All photos by Benjamin Von Wong, used with permission.

Finding food shouldn't require heroics — especially for kids.

Childhood is enough of an adventure without having to worry about whether or not you'll be able to eat today. With food banks as some of the last lines of defense for many Americans facing hunger, those of us in a position to give back or volunteer our time should definitely consider doing so.

Think about getting in touch with your local food bank, making a donation, or sharing one of Von Wong's campaign-related memes on your social media channels.

And for a behind the scenes look at the "When Hunger Strikes" photo series, check out the video below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/XodNQJeAmXI?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0 expand=1]

A young boy tried to grab the Pope's skull cap

A boy of about 10-years-old with a mental disability stole the show at Pope Francis' weekly general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican auditorium. In front of an audience of thousands the boy walked past security and onto the stage while priests delivered prayers and introductory speeches.

The boy, later identified as Paolo, Jr., greeted the pope by shaking his hand and when it was clear that he had no intention of leaving, the pontiff asked Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol, to let the boy borrow his chair.

The boy's activity on the stage was clearly a breach of Vatican protocol but Pope Francis didn't seem to be bothered one bit. He looked at the child with a sense of joy and wasn't even disturbed when he repeatedly motioned that he wanted to remove his skull cap.

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