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Impacts of Hunger

Hunger affects every aspect of a young person life.

Hungers Impact on Youth

Hunger-related toxic stress can negatively affect brain development, learning, information processing, and academic achievement in children. Malnutrition in the first years of life is especially harmful, impacting physical growth, decreasing resistance to disease, limiting the size and functioning of children’s brain structures, and stunting intellectual capacity.  Food insecure children may perform worse on academic achievement tests and learn less during the school year.  Children may feel ashamed and isolated by the stigma associated with their lack of food.

Studies show that food insufficiency is associated with higher prevalence of poor health conditions, including stomachaches, headaches, and colds; and that severe hunger can predict chronic illness among both preschooland school-age children.

Severe Hunger

Severe hunger is associated with anxiety and depression among children. Research shows that families’ lack of sufficient food, irrespective of their income, is associated with depressive disorders and suicidality in adolescents.

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There are a few things we need to be more efficient in distributing food to food insecure youth. They are:

  • procure van for transporting food 

  • obtain food storage warehouse space

  • obtain a walk-in refrigerator and freezer chests

Partnering with Old Orchard Beach and Biddeford school systems, Good Shephard Food Bank of Maine, United Way, and Harvard Pilgrim HCF, we have been able to positively impact youth in York County, Maine. Without their help, we would not be able to achieve our vision of a youth full Maine.