Teen Hunger in the US

  • 13 percent of U.S. reports household hunger. How do teens cope?, By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, September 12, 2016, PBS NewsHour: “Teenagers as young as 13 all too often play an active role in feeding their families, many taking jobs when they can or selling their possessions to help raise money for food, researchers found in a detailed look at hunger among adolescents. In extreme cases, teens resorted to crime and sexual favors in exchange for nourishment.  Yet, according to the research, many cringed at the thought of using a local food bank…”
  • Some hungry teens turn to crime, sex for food, By Ryan W. Miller, September 13, 2016, USA Today: “Shoplifting, stealing and selling their bodies for sex. When hunger hits, some desperate teens in the U.S. are turning to extreme options to provide food for their families, says new research released Monday from Feeding America and the Urban Institute.  Two new reports, ‘Bringing Teens to the Table’ and ‘Impossible Choices,’ document how widespread hunger is afflicting American teenagers, a demographic often overlooked in conversations about food security. About one in five children under 18 — including 6.8 million youths ages 10 to 17 — live in a household with limited or uncertain access to food, the research shows…”
  • The hidden epidemic of teen hunger, By Laura Bliss, September 13, 2016, The Atlantic: “A few years back, Susan J. Popkin was investigating sexual-health interventions in public housing in Washington D.C. The veteran housing and poverty researcher got wind of stories from parents that some teenagers in the community were essentially trading sex for food. ‘We were stunned to hear it,’ she says.  The problem of child hunger is a vast one—one in five American children live in food-insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But most of the resources and research are directed toward younger children; adolescents at the upper end of the age spectrum often get overlooked…”

Food Insecurity in the US

  • U.S. hunger risk rate falls to lowest since before recession, By Alan Bjerga, September 7, 2016, Bloomberg: “A measure used as a proxy for hunger in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest since before the Great Recession, the government said, as the number of Americans on food stamps remains high.  About 42.2 million Americans struggled to afford or obtain adequate nutrition at some point in 2015, a 12 percent drop from 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in an annual survey released Wednesday…”
  • Number of hungry U.S. kids drops to lowest level since before Great Recession, By Pam Fessler, September 7, 2016, National Public Radio: “It’s rare to get good news when it comes to hunger. But the government says there was a big drop last year in the number of people in the country struggling to get enough to eat, especially children.  Overall, 15.8 million U.S. households, or 12.7 percent, experienced what the government calls ‘food insecurity’ at some point during 2015. That’s compared to about 17.4 million households — or 14 percent — in 2014, according to a new report by the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service…”

Food Security in the US

The return of American hunger, By Ned Resnikoff, July 19, 2016, The Atlantic: “By a handful of indicators—unemployment rates, overall economic growth, even average hourly earnings—the U.S. economy isn’t doing so badly right now. And yet, when it comes to the number of Americans who go hungry, it’s almost like the recovery never happened. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food security as ‘access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life,’ and in 2006, the year before the housing market stumbled, the USDA estimated that fewer than 10.9 percent of American households were food insecure. By 2009, that figure had spiked to 14.7 percent. And now? As of 2014, the most recent year on record, 14 percent of all American households are not food secure. That’s approximately 17.4 million homes across the United States, populated with more than 48 million hungry people. By the time the USDA reports its 2016 figures in September 2017, new food-stamp restrictions could make that number higher…”

College Students and Food Insecurity

Four in 10 UC students do not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food, survey says, By Teresa Watanabe and Shane Newell, July 13, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “UC Irvine student Chris Tafoya admits that he’s often hungry and doesn’t eat the nutritious foods he should. On his worst days, the 20-year-old Los Angeles native said he would simply go to sleep early to quiet the hunger pangs.  Other times, he would eat instant ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No matter that each serving is packed with sodium and fat; at less than 50 cents each, it was affordable for Tafoya, who has balked at asking his low-income relatives for help…”

 

Homelessness and Food Insecurity Among College Students

  • Cal State University looks to stem homelessness, hunger among students, By Josh Dulaney, June 21, 2016, Long Beach Press Telegram: “On the heels of a report showing close to one in 10 Cal State University students are homeless or face housing instability, officials met this week in Long Beach to come up with solutions to help students. ‘I think we’re going to start getting some greater awareness across this country because of Cal State — because of our size and importance — is raising this issue across the nation, and we’re not alone in doing so,’ Chancellor Timothy P. White said at the outset of the two-day meeting at the Chancellor’s Office…”
  • Food pantries address a growing hunger problem at colleges, By Stephanie Saul, June 22, 2016, New York Times: “Tucked away in a discreet office atBrooklyn College’s Student Center, beyond the pool tables and wide-screen TVs where her classmates congregate, Rebecca Harmata discovered a lifeline.  A psychology major who works in a doctor’s office to pay for her education, Ms. Harmata describes a break-even, paycheck-to-paycheck existence, with little left over for luxuries — or even for food.  So when she saw a sign last fall advertising the school’s new free food pantry, she decided to take advantage…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Michigan

About 1 in 7 Michigan residents get food stamps, and 6 other facts about SNAP, By Julie Mack, May 23, 2016, MLive.com: “Nearly one of every seven Michigan residents — including one in four Michigan children — currently receive food stamp benefits, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, saw usage spike during the recent recession but the numbers are now down steadily declining…”

Low-Income Students at Elite Colleges

For the poor in the Ivy League, a full ride isn’t always what they imagined, By Nick Anderson, May 16, 2016, Washington Post: “To reach the Ivy League after growing up poor seems like hitting the jackpot. Students get a world-class education from schools that promise to meet full financial needs without making them take out loans. But the reality of a full ride isn’t always what they had dreamed it would be.  Here at Columbia University, money pressures lead many to cut corners on textbook purchases and skip city excursions routine for affluent classmates. Some borrow thousands of dollars a year to pay bills. Some feel obliged to send money home occasionally to help their families. Others spend less on university meal plans, slipping extra food into their backpacks when they leave a dining hall and hunting for free grub through a Facebook network called CU Meal Share…”

Food Insecurity – Missouri

Report shows more Missourians experiencing hunger, biggest increase in country, By Michele Munz, April 27, 2016, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The percentage of households experiencing hunger in Missouri has more than doubled in the last decade, the highest increase in the country, according to a report released Wednesday by the University of Missouri…”

College Students and Food Insecurity

Colleges beginning to address the issue of student hunger, By Bill Schackner, March 7, 2016, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Matt Armento’s first trip to the food pantry on the Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus was as a sophomore volunteering to hand out pasta, canned goods and fruit to other students just scraping by. Honors students at CCAC South had decided that their service project would be to staff the pantry during its soft opening last fall. An honors student himself, Mr. Armento was there to join them. But in reality, he was facing the same financial pressures that had brought his peers there for assistance. So when the pantry held its grand opening this semester, he came back — this time as a recipient…”

Childhood Poverty Screening

Pediatricians urged to screen for poverty, By Brie Zeltner, March 9, 2016, Cleveland Plain Dealer: “In the fall, the nation’s largest pediatricians’ group urged its members to ask their patients if they regularly had enough to eat or ever went hungry. Now, the same group, the American Academy of Pediatrics, is asking its 64,000 members to pose another question during doctor visits: ‘Do you have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?’ It’s a simple way doctors can screen for poverty, the group says, and there are many reasons why pediatricians should care if their patients are poor…”

Food Insecurity in Maine

  • Persistent hunger fuels sprawling food supply system for needy Mainers, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “A multimillion-dollar food distribution network is expanding in Maine to meet the needs of more than 200,000 residents who otherwise would be hungry, a condition that’s worsening despite an overall improving economy. Federal figures show the level of food insecurity, a measure of a household’s inability to afford enough food throughout the year, has been escalating in Maine to a level that’s the highest in New England and above the national average. The latest government survey shows roughly 16 percent of Maine households are food-insecure, compared to a national average of 14 percent. Hunger relief advocates blame a combination of reasons, including stagnant wages, Maine’s higher cost of living and an aging population…”
  • Hunger drives more Mainers to soup kitchens, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “A handful of people were lined up at dusk in the 29-degree chill behind the Calvary United Methodist Church on a recent Wednesday, waiting for the door to open so they could eat. Each Wednesday evening and Sunday morning, 50 or more people come to the Calvary City Mission for a free, hot meal in a warm place…”
  • Food that has lost its looks doesn’t have to go to waste, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “Brian Cunningham comes to work at 4 a.m. to squeeze peppers and tomatoes. It takes Cunningham, the produce shift leader at Hannaford supermarket in Westbrook, two hours to perform a ‘deep cull,’ in which he scrutinizes or handles the cornucopia that greets shoppers in the modern American food store…”
  • Food pantries filling critical need, By Tux Turkel, January 24, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “Portland has gained a national reputation as a ‘foodie’ town, where the latest restaurant openings are followed with interest. Less publicized, in a city which also had 14 food pantries or free meal programs last year, was the launch of a new place that’s attracting a loyal following. It happened last August, when members of the Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland sensed a need in their suburban corner of the city, which borders Westbrook. So they started a modest food pantry. By the end of December, they were regularly serving 173 families every Wednesday afternoon…”

Hospitals and Food Insecurity

Some hospitals prescribe food, take other steps to fight food insecurity, By Christopher J. Gearon, December 8, 2015, US News and World Report: “At Boston Medical Center, physicians write prescriptions for food when patients don’t have enough to eat. Doctors in the center’s emergency department and more than 20 clinics screen all patients for hunger, writing those who struggle to feed themselves a script to the on-site Preventive Food Pantry. They write a lot of food prescriptions – enough to keep the food pharmacy serving 7,000 people each month…”

Childhood Hunger

Pediatricians are asked to join fight against childhood hunger, By Catherine Saint Louis, October 23, 2015, New York Times: “The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday urged pediatricians to screen all patients for food insecurity and to refer parents to appropriate agencies so children do not go hungry. Sixteen million children live in homes where there is consistently not enough food, according to the Agriculture Department. Those children get sick more often, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently than peers who are adequately nourished.  So-called food insecurity has also been linked to behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence…”

US Food Insecurity

USDA: Oregon ranks 3rd in food insecurity growth, By Kaellen Hessel, September 10, 2015, Statesman Journal: “Oregon ranks third in the nation for the largest growth in food insecurity, according to a new annual report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA defines a household as being food insecure as those that could not afford adequate food at any point during the year…”

College Students and Food Insecurity

Rise in college food banks linked to the economy and campus demographics, By Jason Song, August 3, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “For years, the food bank at Michigan State University was one of the few, if not the only, such organizations in the country. By 2008, only four other groups offered college students free meals. But as the economy continued to sink, Michigan State began to get a lot of company. There are now 199 similar groups throughout the country, according to the College and University Food Bank Alliance, including food pantries at UC Berkeley and UCLA. The California State University system is conducting a study to determine the number of students on its campuses who do not have regular sources of food and housing. And one student is attempting to convince vendors and restaurants at Santa Monica College to accept food stamps.

Baby Boomers and Food Insecurity

8 million Baby Boomers face hunger in USA, report finds, By Lori Grisham, July 9, 2015, USA Today: “At least 8 million Baby Boomers are facing hunger in the USA and may be more vulnerable to food insecurity than their older peers, according to areport released Thursday from the food bank network Feeding America and funded by AARP Foundation. ‘Hunger is an invisible problem that millions of older Americans battle silently every day,’ AARP Foundation president Lisa Marsh Ryerson said in a statement. “We have found that the ‘youngest old’ tend to suffer the most, often having to skimp on meals or skip them altogether because they can¹t afford them,’ she wrote.  The ‘youngest old’ are Baby Boomers or adults from the ages of 50 to 64…”

Food Insecurity in the US

Hunger strikes even rich U.S. counties, By Marisol Bello, April 13, 2015, USA Today: “Loudoun County in Virginia is made up of one of the wealthiest communities in the USA. But it’s also where Barbara Diaz, a nanny, struggles to feed her family of eight. While the median income in the county stands at $122,000 a year, Diaz, 55, makes about $21,600 a year as a nanny. With her salary, she has to feed her family and pay rent, car insurance and utilities. Often, she doesn’t have enough at the end of the month for food, so she turns regularly to her local food pantry for help. Diaz and her family are among the 46 million Americans who have a meal gap, in which they can’t afford to pay for three meals a day, according to a new report titled ‘Map the Meal Gap’ by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks nationwide. The food banks provide food to pantries…”

School Food Programs

Schools becoming the ‘last frontier’ for hungry kids, By Marisol Bello, April 5, 2015, USA Today: “America’s schools are no longer just a place for students to learn their ABCs. They are also increasingly where children eat their three squares. The classroom has become a dining room as more children attending public schools live in poverty. More than half of students in public schools — 51% — were in low-income families in 2013, according to a study by the Southern Education Foundation. The number of low-income children in public schools has been persistent and steadily rising over the past several decades. In 1989, 32% of children in public schools lived in poverty, the foundation says…”

Children Receiving SNAP Benefits

  • Almost twice as many kids helped by food stamps than before recession, By Olivia Winslow, January 28, 2015, Newsday: “The number of children receiving benefits from food stamps in 2014 is nearly twice as high as the number receiving such assistance before the start of the recession in 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday. The bureau found that 22 percent of all children under 18 — about 1 in 5 — received food stamps in 2014, or an estimated 16 million, compared with ‘roughly’ 9 million children — about 1 in 8 — in 2007, before the start of the 18-month recession that officially ended in June 2009…”
  • 1 in 5 American kids rely on food stamps, By Aimee Picchi, January 28, 2015, CBS News: “America is a global leader on a number of fronts, including having the largest economy in the world. But here is one area where the U.S., given its general affluence, would rather not distinguish itself: It has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the industrialized world. Even as the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, 1 in 5 children are on food stamps, the U.S. Census said on Wednesday. Before the housing crash, 1 in 8 received federal food assistance…”
  • Census: 1 in 5 children on food stamps, Associated Press, January 28, 2015, Washington Post: “Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008. Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring…”

Food Insecurity and Diabetes Management

When doctors aren’t enough to help patients keep diabetes in check, By Karen Kaplan, December 29, 2014, Los Angeles Times: “Patients with diabetes need access to doctors and medicines to help them keep their disease under control. But they also need food in their pantries and enough money in their pockets to pay for necessities like rent and heat, a new study shows. Among a group of 411 patients being treated for Type 2 diabetes in the Boston area, those who suffered from food insecurity and those who tried to save money by skimping on their meds were only half as likely as their more financially secure counterparts to be managing their disease. This disparity turned up despite the fact that in Massachusetts, nearly everyone has medical insurance and prescription coverage thanks to the state’s universal healthcare law…”