New Report Highlights Costs of Food Insecurity for Kids
Lexie Pèrez-Grüber (Former Staff)Health Nutrition Poverty & Family Economics
Bread for the World Institute recently released their highly anticipated 2016 hunger report entitled “The Nourishing Effect: Ending Hunger, Improving Health, Reducing Inequality”.
This comprehensive report provides a fascinating look at the interconnectedness of hunger, poverty, and poor health. These factors feed into one another, trapping poor families in vulnerable situations. Food insecurity causes poor health, and poor health makes people more likely to be food insecure. Most disturbingly, this fatal cycle is passed down through generations as food-insecure parents may lack the resources to provide their children with healthy food.
The Nourishing Effect also illustrates how hunger and food insecurity is expensive for families and the communities that support them. In fact, the health-related costs of hunger and food insecurity cost the U.S. an additional $160 billion in 2014 alone. The report also highlighted the physical costs of hunger. The effects on children are devastating and long lasting. Food insecure children are less healthy, suffer more developmental delays, face more challenges in the classroom, and are hospitalized more often than their peers.
Thankfully, there are solutions. At First Focus, we’ve been actively working to ensure that child nutrition and food insecurity are at the forefront of Congress’s purview. Our team has worked to improve the Child and Adult Care Food Program and maintain the strong nutrition standards from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that provide children the nutrients they need to thrive in the classroom through the school lunch and breakfast programs. We’ve urged Congress to stop attacks on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and advocated for improvements in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
There has been great progress made but, as The Nourishing Effect shows, there remains a great deal of work left to be done. We look forward to continue working toward a world in which no child goes hungry.
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