Drexel's Center for Hunger-Free Communities just published a study on childhood food insecurity and trauma - Generocity Philly

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May 25, 2016 3:24 pm

Drexel’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities just published a study on childhood food insecurity and trauma

Children who are experiencing potentially traumatic events such as abuse or the incarceration of a parent are more likely to live in food-insecure households.

The study found that depressive symptoms are associated with child food insecurity.

(Photo by Flickr user Bread for the World, used under a Creative Commons license)

Children who are experiencing potentially traumatic events such as abuse or the incarceration of a parent are more likely to live in food-insecure households.

That’s according to a new report from Drexel University‘s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which analyzed the relationship between childhood food insecurity and adverse child experiences (ACEs).

Researchers collected data from 1,255 female caregivers of Philadelphia children under age four. Among children who demonstrate “depressive symptoms” and four or more ACEs, those caregivers were:

  • 12.3 times more likely to report low food security.
  • 28.8 times as likely to report very low food security.
Read the full study

The solution: Researchers suggested social service providers adopt a more holistic approach to alleviating food insecurity. In other words, food intervention efforts should be trauma-informed and incorporate behavioral health practices.

It’s not news by any means — leaders in food access and security are recognizing they need to provide more than just food to impoverished communities.

The idea of “food deserts” continues to pull on America’s heartstrings.  Social enterprises built to deliver healthy foods to impoverished communities and funding vehicles designed to propel them continue to pop up.

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Still, the problem persists. And it’s getting worse.

According to last summer’s Coaltion Against Hunger report, 58.2 percent of feeding programs reported an increase in constituents and a lack of food to provide them with.

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