What Is the Impact on Our Society from Food Insecurity? (by Guest Blogger Bobbi Rychlick)

The Public Writing

Letter to the editor;

Have you ever thought about the number of children that do not have adequate and nutritional food on a daily basis? The effect on a child that does not have adequate nutritional food results in an impact to our society. These children can have decrease in cognitive development, suffer from growth, emotional, and intellectual impairment. These children are often times suffer from more illnesses that require hospitalizations

With the impact of food insecurity and hunger on children, our society is affected economically. Currently our nation haves approximately 13.3 million children under the age of 18 facing hunger. We fail not only these children but our society as a whole. This is our future workforce that will be less able to cope with more complex and technical job skills. How is a child to concentrate and learn when they sit in a classroom and they don’t have the energy due to lack of nutritious food or they are feeling the discomfort of hunger.

We need to think of addressing childhood hunger as an investment in our nation. The children will be our workers of the future. They need the fuel of nutrition so that they can grow up to be the strong, educated and healthy individuals that will drive the economy of the United States forward.

With the federal programs of SNAP, WIC, TEFAP and the national lunch and breakfast program, and summer lunch programs there still remains a large gap which is being filled by the nation’s network of food banks. These food banks depend heavily on the thousands of volunteers annually. As a way to support the children and their families think of volunteering sometime to the food bank it is a way to support our country and our future.

I have volunteered with the Oregon Food Bank and the Newberg F.I.S.H food bank. This has raised many questions since Oregon has one of the highest hunger rates in the nation.

Research Questions and Collections

What is the impact on our society from food insecurity?

The Oregon Food Bank and the USDA have several articles that provide you with overwhelming information on the impact to our country. With the economic crisis that occurred there was a sharp increase in the number of individuals and families that faced food insecurity. And with the network of Oregon Food Banks providing a record number of emergency food boxes it makes you look at what are the multiple factors that are driving the increase need for assistance. What became very clear is there is no quick fix for the multiple problems that cause the need for food assistance.

2012 Hunger Assessment. n.d. February 2013.

Bingham, Larry. “Partner for Hunger Free Oregon Kicks off Summer Meals Program to raise awareness, reach more needy children.” Oregonian. Oregonian, 29 June 2011.  What you may not think about is the number of children that are served breakfast and free and reduced lunches during the school year. What happens to these children when school is not in session and their families must come up with more money to provide another meal for these children. The summer lunch program is run my school districts with paid staff and volunteers. It is funded by the USDA.

Coleman-Jensen, Alisha et al. “Household Food Security in the United States in 2011.” Ecoonomic Research Report Number 141. 2012.  This research report from the USDA compared each state, looked at characteristics of households facing insecurity and looked at the nation as a whole.

Donald Shepard, Elizabeth Setren, and Donna Cooper. Hunger in America: Suffering We Are All Paying For. October 2011. February 2013.  Shepared puts numbers to the cost of food insecurity in our nation. He stated that the cost of hunger in America in 2007 was 125.5 billion dollars and by 2010 it had increased by 33%  to 167.5 billon.  In his calculations included healthcare costs, lower educational productivity and earnings and charitable costs. It is a concrete way to look at this issue that often times get pushed to the side.

ers.usda.gob. n.d.

John Cook, PhD and Karen Jeng, AB. “Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on Our Nation.” 2009. Feeding America. 3 March 2013.

Weitzman, Tracie. 2012 Hunger Factors Assessment. n.d.


John Cook, PhD and Karen Jeng, AB. “Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on Our Nation.” 2009. Feeding America. 3 March 2013.

Weitzman, Tracie. 2012 Hunger Factors Assessment. n.d.


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