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What Can Happen When Food Isn’t a Guarantee?

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Today, the Urban Institute, a think-tank operating out of Washington, D.C., released the findings of a three-year study on food insecurity called "Impossible Choices." The study was conducted in collaboration with Feeding America, a nonprofit dedicated to combating hunger relief, and it examines 10 disparate communities with 193 teenagers stratified by gender (male and female), touching on both urban and rural America.

It details how food insecurity, often born out of lapses in federal food assistance programs, has forced youth to resort to behaviors that not only risk their lives—involuntary sex work, petty crime, drug dealing—but also needlessly gives them criminal records they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.


Hope in New Columbia from Urban Institute on Vimeo

The video above, centered on an underserved community in Portland, Oregon, provides a snapshot of how one group of teenagers has worked tirelessly to correct for these very issues that their community’s facing. See the study in full here, which gives flesh to a statistic—that America has 6.8 million food-insecure teenagers aged 10 through 17—all too easy to abstract.

Have any takeaways from ‘Impossible Choices’? Tell me below.

Tags: hunger, food security, food policy