Report details massive financial cost of American hunger and food insecurity

by Vinnie Rotondaro

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Hunger and food insecurity plagues America, not only morally, but also financially -- and in a major way.

This is according to a new report issued by Bread for the World Institute, the policy research arm of the Christian anti-hunger advocacy organization Bread for the World.

The report, “Nourishing Effect: Ending Hunger, Improving Health, Reducing Inequality,” finds that America's hunger health costs tally up to a staggering $160 billion annually. 

“America's hunger bill is much greater than we may realize, affecting educational outcomes, labor productivity, crime rates, Gross Domestic Product, and much more," an info graphic for the study explains. 

The study relied on “an extensive assessment of peer-reviewed research on the many ways that hunger harms human health, and the higher health care costs associated with them, updated to 2014 dollars." 

It itemizes America’s "hunger health bill": 

Incidents of depression stemming from hunger and food insecurity cost America $32 billion annually, for example; anxiety, $19 billion; suicide, nearly $22 billion; hospitalization, $11 billion; poor general health, $20 billion, and so and so on. 

The study info graphic can be read hereIt notes, "$160 billion is more than all annual state and federal spending on higher education.”

[Vinnie Rotondaro is NCR national correspondent. His email address is]

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