EDITORIAL: Hunger is a public health issue and should be treated as such

Not being able to afford a meal is a highly stigmatized issue. People experiencing food insecurity often feel shame and embarrassment. Many areas of the state, even within wealthier cities such as Boston, have pockets of food deserts. This takes a toll on the lives of residents and places a burden on local legislators to take action and work to fix the issue.

In a report published by the Greater Boston Food Bank and Children’s HealthWatch, medical researchers used health-related data to define the cost of hunger in Massachusetts as $2.4 billion. They uncovered that health costs associated with not having enough food make up the biggest portion of this number. Professors have speculated this number is much greater, given that many people who experience food insecurity struggle with affording medication in favor of spending money on meals and other necessities.