AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Two Columbia County parents are facing child cruelty charges. A police report said their three children were severely malnourished.
Tinka El, also known as Natelia Joyce Lundy, and Hassan Bey, also known as Terrance Alonzo Taylor are both charged with three counts of Cruelty to Children.
All three of their children, ages 1-week, 1-year and 3-years old, were hospitalized.
The 3-year-old and 1-year-old were both diagnosed with Rickets disease.
The couple remains in jail after being denied bond.
A graph from Prevent Child Abuse Georgia shows that neglect is the most common form of child abuse in the state, accounting for 65% of cases in 2020.
“April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month – your three and younger are really at a high vulnerability,” said Kari Viola-Brooke, the executive director of Child Enrichment Inc. “They’re not in school yet so they don’t have access to teachers, and they’re not able to communicate as much.”
Viola-Brooke said the responsibility falls on adults.
“As adult figures who can communicate and make reports when we have suspicions, we really need to make sure we’re taking that stance and protecting children,” she said.
Leaders at Golden Harvest Food Bank said they see one in five children in their service area going through food insecurity.
The summer months are the worst, and they’re trying to raise funds to prepare.
“Over the summer, we see a lot of kids that don’t have that school lunch or school breakfast to rely on, and they’re hungry,” said Priscilla Elliott, the media and communications coordinator for Golden Harvest. “There’s no food, or if there is food, food’s too expensive with inflation going on right now. So were just doing what we can with our different programs and partnerships.”
Both Child Enrichment Inc. and Golden Harvest need help from the community to combat this issue. To volunteer or donate, click the provided links.
You can also call 1-855-GACHILD to report suspected child neglect.