Dr. John Cook, Children’s HealthWatch Co-Principal Investigator, was featured in an article published by the Naperville Sun.

Hunger Relief Authority Speaks at Loaves & Fishes

The way Dr. John Cook sees it, the return to a booming U.S. economy may not be all that complicated. But the nation can’t expect to see its best days, he said, until its people are securely fed.

A leading authority on hunger relief, Cook spoke to board members and staff at the Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry in Naperville Monday evening, pressing the case that the societal costs of failing to feed people sufficiently, especially children, are far greater than most Americans realize.

Cook, an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University and a researcher specializing in food, energy and housing insecurity, discussed in depth the interconnections among well-being, economic power and the health of the population, in particular its youngest members, in “Child Food Insecurity and the Economic Impact on our Nation.”

The principle of feeding people who can’t afford enough food is a moral and ethical matter, Cook said. “It calls to mind our concern about fairness, generosity and caring for our neighbors.”

But it’s also an economic security issue. “I firmly believe … that children are the primary engine for economic growth in our society,” he said. “And if they are not able to remain nourished, the engine falters.”