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Bringing Children in from the Cold: Solutions for Boston’s Hidden Homeless

Children’s HealthWatch and the Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston released a joint report entitled “Bringing Children in from the Cold: Solutions for Boston’s Hidden Homeless.” The report describes a population of “hidden homeless” families and new research showing that children in these families are more likely to be hungry and in poor health. Unrecorded by any homeless census, these families move frequently, often into overcrowded apartments, or double up with another family never knowing how long they can stay. The report estimates that there are over 14,800 hidden homeless families in Boston and that this number is likely to grow as the economy declines.

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Coming Up Short: High food costs outstrip food stamp benefits (The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: 2008)

The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet Project investigated the availability and affordability of healthy food in two cities. This project, based at the Boston Medical Center and Drexel University’s School of Public Health, examined whether low-income residents in Boston and Philadelphia could buy food for a healthy diet using the maximum food stamp benefit in their neighborhood food stores. The study found that even families receiving the maximum food stamp benefit would have to spend an additional $2,520 in Boston and $3,165 in Philadelphia annually to purchase the Thrifty Food Plan.

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Coming Up Short: High food costs outstrip food stamp benefits (The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: Boston, 2008)

Results are based on data collected in  four stores in each of four Boston neighborhoods (16 stores total). The average monthly cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) was $752, 39%  higher than the maximum monthly food stamp benefit for a family of four. On average, the TFP could not be purchased with the maximum […]

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Coming Up Short: High food costs outstrip food stamp benefits (The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: Philadelphia, 2008)

Results are based on data collected in four stores in each of four Philadelphia neighborhoods (16 stores total). The average monthly cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) was $805, 49% higher than the maximum monthly food stamp benefit for a family of four. On average, the TFP could not be purchased with the maximum food stamp […]

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Food Security: Ensuring the health of Baltimore’s babies

Food insecurity is the lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy lifestyle for all household members due to financial constraints. Families who are food insecure often limit the quality and quantity of food that is available to family members. As a result, families fill up on low-cost foods with little nutritional value. This report demonstrates the impact that food insecurity has on the health and development of children in the city of Baltimore. Furthermore, it examines the role of nutrition-related public assistance programs (i.e.: Food Stamps, WIC) in food insecure families.

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Feeding Our Future: Growing up Healthy with WIC

This report details the important effects that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has on very young children. The report highlights Children’s HealthWatch research that WIC not only improves children’s health but reduces their risk of developmental delays.

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Nourishing Development: A Report on Food Insecurity and the Precursors to School Readiness among Very Young Children

A report of original Children’s HealthWatch findings demonstrating that the foundations of school readiness are laid long before the start of formal education begins.

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Fuel for Our Future: Impacts of Energy Insecurity on Children’s Health, Nutrition, and Learning

Rising energy prices affect all households, yet the impact is greatest on low-income families. The lower a family’s income, the higher the percentage of their total income they must spend for energy. The strain on household budgets often causes unavoidable trade-offs between food and energy, called ‘heat or eat’ or ‘cool or eat.’ These trade-offs have serious consequences for young children’s health and learning, particularly for children of color. This report demonstrates the important role that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) plays in protecting children’s health and ability to learn.

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Balancing Acts: Energy Insecurity among Low-Income Babies and Toddlers of Color Increases Food Insecurity and Harmful Health Impacts

Energy insecurity compounds the negative effects of food insecurity on child health. “Heat or eat” and “cool or eat” situations further compromise the nutrition of already-vulnerable young children, and increase their risk of health problems in both the short- and long-term. Children of color are at increased risk of experiencing the damaging effects of energy insecurity because their families are disproportionately poor and underserved. This report details Children’s HealthWatch data on energy insecurity among children of color, focusing specifically on Black and Latino children ages 0 to 3.

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Balancing Acts: Energy Insecurity among Low-Income Babies and Toddlers of Color Increases Food Insecurity and Harmful Health Effects

Energy insecurity compounds the negative effects of food insecurity on child health. “Heat or eat” and “cool or eat” situations further compromise the nutrition of already-vulnerable young children, and increase their risk of health problems in both the short- and long-term. Children of color are at increased risk of experiencing the damaging effects of energy […]