Hunger’s Consequences to Health and Education

  • 3 times more likely for children to be suspended from school.
  • 2 times more likely for children to repeat a grade.
  • 2 times more likely for children to require special education.
  • 2.5 times more likely for women to be obese.
  • 2 times more likely for individuals to develop diabetes.
  • 3 times more likely for individuals to suffer from poor health.

Pennsylvania’s Hunger Bill: $6.12 billion

  • A 29% increase from the costs associated with hunger in 2007 (does not include administration costs of key food and nutrition programs).
  • Pennsylvania is 1 of 12 states whose hunger costs rose more than $1 billion since 2007.

Health Costs: $4.77 billion

  • Malnutrition compromises the immune system, making the hungry more vulnerable to disease.
  • Hungry individuals are 1.3 times more likely to be hospitalized and require longer, expensive in‐patient stays.
  • Healthcare for malnourished patients costs 3 times more compared to healthy patients.
  • Hospital stays are 3 times longer for malnourished patients.

Education Costs: $704 million

  • 3 out of 5 K‐8 public school teachers in the U.S. report seeing children regularly coming to school hungry.
  • Children from food insecure households are more likely to struggle in school, fail, be held back, or drop out altogether.
  • Earning capacity is largely determined by an individual’s educational achievement. When hunger interferes, a lifetime of earning capacity is impacted. A high school graduate earns, on average, $8,915 more each year than someone who never graduated.

Food Assistance Programs Reduce Food Insecurity and its Negative Impacts

  • For every $5 of SNAP benefits used for food, up to $9 in economic activity is generated.
  • SNAP helped 1.8 million Pennsylvanians avoid hunger by supplementing the family’s monthly food budget.
  • WIC saves between $1.77 and $3.13 for every dollar spent in Medicaid costs.
  • Research shows that the National School Breakfast Program helps children perform better in school, concentrate in class, and reduces the number of visits to the school nurse.
  • The Commodity Supplemental Nutrition Program (CSFP) helps low‐income seniors maintain the proper nutrition needed to reduce the risk of chronic illness.


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