Food & Water Project
FOOD AND WATER PROJECT
Despite the strength of the American economy in the past few years, food insecurity and hunger continue to affect millions of American families. The food security of mother-headed families who were living in highly disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and who had received or were currently receiving cash welfare benefits are extremely high. The families of four groups of women were compared: those who, at the time of the interview, worked and were no longer receiving welfare; those who combined welfare and work; non-working welfare recipients; and those who neither worked nor were then receiving welfare. The survey results indicated that food insecurity in the prior year was high in all groups.
Hunger is the world’s No. 1 health risk—it kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. And hunger knows no bounds: there are populations of hungry people in every region, from countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four people is malnourished, to the United States, where 15.9 million children live in hunger. There is some good news: the total number of undernourished has fallen by 17% since 1990-1992. But the rate of progress is slow, and there is still so much to do! Together, we can reach zero, as in zero hunger in the world.
Overall, about half the families were food insecure, and hunger was found in slightly more than 15 percent of the families. Moreover, in nearly one-third of the families there were food hardships that affected the children’s diets. Food insecurity is most prevalent among families where the mother had neither employment income nor welfare benefits. Food insecurity is lowest among the families where the mothers were working and no longer getting welfare, but even in this group 44.5 percent were food insecure, and nearly 15 percent had experienced hunger. Data from in-depth ethnographic interviews indicate that, in this population, women who are food secure nevertheless expend considerable energy piecing together strategies to ensure that there is an adequate amount of food available for themselves and their children.
The Effects of Homelessness on Pregnant Mothers and Infants
The experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral development of children. The impact of homelessness begins well before a child is born. ... By the time homeless children reach school age, their homelessness affects their social, physical, and academic lives.