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A key centerpiece for health in schools: free lunch

Originally posted on The Boston Globe. Ripple effect of these meals is widely felt. Re “Advocates seek to keep school lunch free” (Page A1, March 26): Free school meals directly support the health and development of school-age children by delivering consistent access to nutritious foods. For those who participate, these programs are linked to improved […]

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One tool to help create affordable housing — real estate transfer fees

Originally posted on The Boston Globe. The open market has never had a viable mechanism to resolve the problem of escalating housing prices and rampant real estate speculation. For too long, affordable homes have been out of reach for people across the Commonwealth. But a tool exists that can help communities solve this persistent problem: a […]

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Residents of color disproportionately hit by evictions after moratorium expired, says new report

Originally posted on WBUR. Megan Sandel, a physician who serves as co-director of Boston Medical Center’s Grow Clinic for Children, cautioned Tuesday that housing displacement can spiral into years of lingering health effects. Evictions, she said, “really alter people’s life courses in ways that are unconscionable.” “In our research and others’, we have seen that […]

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Doctors and health systems find novel ways to address hunger and its causes

Originally posted on Fern’s AG Insider. Allison Bovell-Ammon, director of policy strategy at Children’s HealthWatch, an advocacy and research organization headquartered at Boston Medical Center, described some of the ways the medical center addresses the drivers of health inequities. It started the first hospital-based food pantry in the country and has subsequently added a range […]

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Living Well Into The Future: Food Is Medicine

Originally posted on Living Well Into The Future on WTBR. Host Julie B. Adler discusses the consequences of and solutions to having too little food or too much food that is unhealthy with guests; Dr. Hilary Seligman, Professor at the University of California San Francisco with appointments in the Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology […]

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For Immigrant Mothers, WIC Nutrition Program Led to Healthier Infant Birth Weights

Originally posted on HealthCity. The Bottom Line | Participation in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during pregnancy by immigrant mothers with low incomes is associated with healthier birth weights among infants born in the U.S. Context | An infant’s birth weight is an indicator of the mother’s prenatal health and a predictor […]

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Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Linked to Decline in Food Insufficiency

Originally posted on HealthCity. The Bottom Line | A temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) program effectively created a monthly child allowance that may have shielded low-income families with children from the impacts of economic hardship, such as hunger. Context | The economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of job […]

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Lawmakers may rebalance Baker’s tax relief plans

Originally posted on WBUR. Lawmakers will be making election-year choices on how to handle the lame-duck governor’s proposal. Some who testified during the hearing indicated Baker’s bill could serve as a starting point for the committee to assemble its own tax policy legislation. Mike Festa of AARP Massachusetts floated incorporating a tax credit to support […]

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New Study Finds Advance Child Tax Credits Reduced US Food Insufficiency by 26%

Originally posted on BU Center for Antiracist Research. Congratulations to Dr. Paul Shafer and colleagues for their recent JAMA Network Open publication: ‘Association of the Implementation of Child Tax Credit Advance Payments With Food Insufficiency in US Households’. As their new cross-sectional study demonstrates, using repeated surveys of a nationally representative sample of U.S. households, the […]

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The expanded child tax credit briefly slashed child poverty. Here’s what else it did

Originally posted on NPR. The monthly payments slashed food insufficiency by a quarter Food insufficiency happens when, over the course of a week, a family doesn’t have enough to eat sometimes or often. Throughout the pandemic, insufficiency rates have fluctuated, spiking in late 2020. The six monthly child tax credit payments of 2021, though, appeared […]