Broome County not immune to national hunger problems
6/10/2013 (Updated 10:55:33 PM)The numbers are staggering. Nationwide, hunger costs the country almost $168 billion due to lost economic productivity and more expensive education, among other factors.
In Broome County alone, more than 8,000 children live in homes that struggle to put food on the table. The county has declared this week Childhood Hunger Awareness Week. One worry, that without the safety net of meals at school, some children may go without any meals at all over the summer.
"We're already seeing the need spike with college students being home. Historically about 40% of the meals we serve in the community are geared toward young people," said Mike Leahey, Executive Director of CHOW.
"You can't educate a child who's hungry. They're distracted, they have difficulty in learning the material. You can't keep children healthy who aren't educated. It's a cycle that we need to interject in and make sure our children are fed," said nurse practitioner Stacey Stalter.
Stalter said children with food insecurity can actually have a higher body mass index than those without, because the cheapest food is often fast food and food high in fat and carbohydrates.
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