Food insecurity remains a critical issue in our country. Getting enough to eat every day, especially nutritious/healthy foods, is important for everyone – but is particularly critical for children. Proper nutrition has a direct impact on a child’s physical and mental health, including the ability to perform in school and to develop normally.
Drexel University’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities recently conducted a study that investigated links between “adverse childhood experiences” (such as neglect, abuse and household insecurity) and food insecurity. Researchers interviewed 31 female caregivers who reported low or very low household food security. The results were distressing: 2/3 of the mothers reported adverse experiences when they were children themselves, and as a result they dealt with mental and physical health problems, academic challenges, and/or unemployment. And while they don’t want their children to go through the same experience, the reality is that often they do.
What can be done? We can provide support, including safe places for parents to live and care for their children, access to behavioral health support, and public assistance programs.