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Fighting Hunger During a Pandemic


Dr Hernandez. Thank you for broadcasting from your home and join us on no jargon today. Oh thank you for having me and especially under this unique circumstance. Yeah absolutely no. We're really glad that you're part of the network but we can speak with today This is something that people need to think about you. Research Food Insecurity so you know. Lay the groundwork for me. What do we mean when we describe people as food insecure That's a term that I think researchers use a lot. Maybe not so much the general public and how you know this is something that existed before this moment. How bad was the problem in the? Us before Corona virus came along. Yes so food. Insecurity is the Academic term that we use or hunger or the lack of access to food In the lack of access to food because of resources it's not because an individual is going on a diet it refusing to eat the. This is a real concern where one seven households had children on a regular basis experience. Food security is does not mean that children are not being. Fed hairs usually shelter their younger children from lack of access to food by themselves eating less or skipping a meal but we are beginning to notice that older children off. The shelves are practicing food coping strategies. Such as they're eating less to ensure that their yard is siblings. Have enough to eat. You know typically we have always defined families that are at the poverty level at most at risk for experiencing food security but we now know that families about two hundred percent of the threshold or poverty are at rest in. This is because these families have difficulties making ends meet and there's no safety available for them so these are families that have Deal WITH ECONOMIC HARDSHIP. Which is basically the difficulty of meeting basic needs and basic needs such as shelter utilities food clothing medical expenses. These families are living paycheck to paycheck. Either because they have limited Ah Limited paycheck or changes in paychecks now our combination of two so put c Stanley at greater risk for experiencing what we call food. Insecurity is so you've listed some of the ways that they can mitigate these issues and try to put food on the table as much as possible adults and older children foregoing it of course maybe the most immediate one that definitely impacts people's health but talk about some other consequences food insecurity. We know it's not good to be hungry. But what's the impact on families in particular? What's the impact on children? You know what does it mean for their physical and mental health? Children are read. So we think about How informants school. They are at risk or attention problems. There are a number of children that miss site knows with attention deficit disorder When the fact is that is their lack of concentration is because they haven't had enough to eat in the no the attention problems can lead to academic failures Dropping out a school in a cycle of poverty continues long term. We have seen insecurity be associated with obesity and Diet sensitive. Chronic diseases such as diabetes And we've even seen the association between Security mental health. Some of the early work focused on parents and we saw anxiety. Depression related to food insecurity. But we're now seeing the same association among adolescents and so interesting impacts than on education that maybe people wouldn't think of that. The you know the idea of misdiagnoses with attention deficit issues actually being simply because of hunger is an interesting one when we think about all the research that goes into diagnosing and treating those types of issues in children So I'm hearing that while. School can be a place where some of the kind of entitlements of food insecurity come out there also a place where food insecurity can be strongly combated. Is that correct? How'd you how'd you schools? Actually help children get food yes. Schools are in many ways. The Flying Defense For Reducing Food Insecurity A number of the children school-age children receive meals from the school breakfast program in from National School Lunch Program. There are almost thirty million children who benefit from the national school lunch program the majority of the children that Assad's programs are low income in the positive. Y in some people may be wondering why we still have these programs around and the reason we have around is because it they had a positive impact our on our school age children. First and foremost they have reduced food insecurity rates among these children over voicing positive impact on their academics children. All these programs have better attention. Their behavior is better. Academic performance is better than children. Who are the same income but not receiving these these meals so we still have. We advocate for these programs because it helps children not only received the nutrition that they need but it helps them with their academic performance and then hopefully graduate in break the cycle old hardy so that brings us to our current situation as we speak at we're in the middle of a pandemic In our micro situation that we're in the middle of a tiny room under the stairs in my small apartment in an urban setting where there is a non food insecure child who you may be able to hear in the background. We apologize for that but I think you know. My situation draws a contrast the perils of having to work from home and be creative about how you work when you have a young child at home is one thing and that's been a very public conversation that we need to have this one that we're having right now as well. What does it actually mean? When you take away structure that is you know not just caring for children during the day so the parents can work but as you just said feeding them you know. What is the impact of the outbreak having on food insecurity in the US? Obviously this just happened. So I know you don't have like immediate research. Can you can tell us a little bit more from what you know about what this is going to mean for. Food insecure families. Yes so Clearly with tools hosing that means that a school issue. Jim will not have access to food that they regularly get than schools are open but we do know a little bit from Research over the summer. So we know that insecurity rates usually increase over the summer When students don't have access to these regular meals currently school districts with the help of nonprofit organizations in advocacy groups are setting up locations where families can go in pick up meals Similar through a drive through children's presence or for the meal to be provided. I know locally Houston Food. Bank is preparing disaster boxes of what these are. Our boxes filled with food. That can then be picked up sue locally at agencies the Houston area in the most recent as in like last night. Is that the families. I run a virus response. Act was passed on. It's been passed the Senate and the House expected that the bill will go into law soon when president trump sign it and the good news about this act is that it does provide assistance in the area child. Nutrition were children but it also is going to provide a pandemic ABT act. Which is An emergency anti-hunger programme for families during this pandemic so is going to be similar from what I can tell is. GonNa be Sandler. Set up to the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program or snap or what we call the food stamp program but it can be urgency a for families journey during this endemic. So I do applaud. You know all the Senators House. Presentative saw the congressman. That really thought about this through in and you know families I in in need of eating eating families during this during this difficult

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