COST TO COMMUNITIES
Child hunger is also an economic and social problem. Research studies show that hunger among children adversely affects community prosperity and growth.
Child hunger leads to greater health care costs for families and employers:*
- Short-term: Hungry children have greater odds of being hospitalized, and the average pediatric hospitalization costs approximately $12,000.
- Long-term: Results of chronic under-nutrition contribute to high health care costs.
- Child hunger leads to greater absenteeism and turnover in the work environment, both of which are costly for employers. Child sick days are linked to parent-employee absences.
Child hunger is a workforce and job readiness problem:*
- Workers who experience hunger as children are not as well prepared physically, mentally, emotionally or socially to perform effectively in the contemporary workforce.
- Workers who experienced hunger as children create a workforce that has lower levels of educational and technical skills and thus is less competitive.
* Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on Our Nation, released July 2009 by Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, and ConAgra Food Foundation.