Report: 6.8 Million American Teens Struggle with Hunger, Impacting their Health and Academic Achievement
Congressman Jim McGovern spoke on the House Floor recently to address teen hunger as part of his continued push to raise awareness during Hunger Action Month.
Congressman McGovern praised two new reports released by the Urban Institute which highlight the millions of teenagers who face hunger and the challenges that they and their families confront every day.
The research in the Urban Institute reports shows that the food budget is one of the first things pared down when times get tough for a family.
Under such conditions, these households can become food insecure — that is, they struggle to acquire enough affordable, nutritious food to healthily feed the whole family.
Using Current Population Survey data, food insecurity expert Craig Gundersen recently estimated that 6.8 million young people ages 10 to 17 struggle to have enough to eat, including 2.9 million who have very low food security.
The ramifications of food insecurity are innumerable, but looking specifically at teenagers, the report notes that teenagers are at a critical stage of their development and that food insecurity undermines their physical and emotional growth, stamina, academic achievement and job performance.
Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech on Teen Hunger:
“ … I rise to speak about the widespread problem of hunger among teenagers.
“While our nation’s recovery is progressing, seven million teens remain food insecure, and we know they often face additional hardships.
“Today, the Urban Institute is briefing Members of Congress and their staff on two new reports that highlight these circumstances and explore how teens cope with hunger.
“Among a number of troubling conclusions, the report finds that teens fear the stigma of being hungry and often refuse to accept food or assistance. They skip meals and sometimes turn to dangerous behaviors just so their parents or siblings can eat. They often feel the need to bear the responsibility for feeding their families.
“Teenagers deserve to have a normal childhood. They should be focused on school and developing their passions – not worrying about where their next meal is coming from.
“I encourage all of my colleagues to read these reports and join me in working to end hunger now.”
REC HELPS FEED YOUR FAMILY! Check out their REC FARMERS MARKETS! In all Worcester neighborhoods!
By Rosalie Tirella
I love my city, but we have to deal with our hunger problem …
What Worcester needs badly!!: a TRUE FOOD HUB! Just like they have in Greenfield! A store in the city open 7 days a week, 9 – 5, a building, a physical place to shop like Price Chopper or Shop Rite … only filled with locally sourced produce that typically wouldn’t be sold in supermarkets. A food hub is just like a supermarket, only it sells local farmers’ less-than-perfect produce – for way CHEAP! Way way less $$ than the supermarkets and our high-end farmers market, here, ironically, in our inner city – by Kelley Square!!! Kelley Square – home to so many poor people, refugees, immigrants – DIVERSITY! The Worcester of tomorrow! You don’t see our future at this boutique farmers market by Kelley Square. You see … gentrification. It’s an affront to the real neighborhood and its people!
Did you know…Farmers throw away veggies that aren’t ready for prime time! These “rejects” are still amazingly tasty and healthy – fresh from the good earth! FOOD HUBS answer the question: Why not give our working poor, our immigrants a chance – a place! – to buy these homeless, kitchen-less vegetables and fruits? The working poor and immigrants are not patronizing the high-end farmers market any ways, and they often live out of walking distance from produce-selling supermarkets … so no one loses customers. It’s an entirely different customer base – the people in my neighborhood! The folks in all of Worcester’s inner-city neighborhoods!
Let’s do the right thing!
We can’t let politics or a fake, self-obsessed pretend little girl/real-life bitch (I’ve asked around! no one in the city seems to really like her, despite her relentless p.r.) kill this project! Get in the way of A REAL PHYSICAL FOOD HUB FOR WORCESTER! Our kids – all kids! – need to grow up healthy and strong!
…until the FOOD HUB IS A REALITY (staffed/run by REC???)…
… and the rest of the week when you show ’em your INCITY TIMES NEWSPAPER COUPON AD! They’re by the GRAND TRUNK! 20% off!!! WOO HOO!!!!
Cool summer stuff happening in our city!
YouthGROW is off to a strong start with a first batch of Drop it Like it’s Hot Sauce™ made, a fun and energizing orientation camping trip under their belts, and their first week of working in the urban farms underway.
This crew of 34 awesome youth will surely be making a difference this summer!
**WANT TO HELP HARVEST ON THE YouthGROW FARM?**
Join us on Mondays from 2-5 pm
63 Oread St., Main South
All of the produce will go to our Mobile Market to be delivered to 16 different sites around Worcester!
July 14: Clark University geographers share tree-health findings!
The Clark University HERO Fellows will share with area stakeholders, residents, and other scientists important findings from their continued analysis of tree survivorship, focusing on trees planted by the Worcester Tree Initiative and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, including trees on public streets.
This annual Stakeholder Summit Research Presentation will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 14, in Room 133, Jefferson Academic Center, Main and Woodland Streets. It is free and open to the public.
This Summit is an opportunity for Clark undergraduate researchers to present findings from their summer research and beyond, to receive vital feedback from stakeholders and to discuss next steps.
The Human-Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) program is a unique undergraduate-graduate-faculty experience that engages in research on human-environment relationships in Massachusetts. HERO Fellows conduct hands-on research, learning how to use various research methods, including GIS, remote sensing, geostatistical modeling, interviews and focus groups. Their work, conducted under the mentorship of Clark University faculty, often leads to scholarly publications and presentations at academic conferences across the United States.
The HERO program reflects the human-environment research focus that is a hallmark of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University.
ICT editor Rosalie LOVES Worcester, her hometown … her forever home! … See?
Pics/text: Rosalie Tirella