Prevalence of ‘food insecurity’ goes unrecognized by many
September 28, 2012
Participants in a study of childhood hunger, which impacts some 293,000 South Carolina children and teens, will gather Oct. 2 to review the progress of their efforts and set an agenda for a future coordinated program.
The meeting will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the S.C. Farm Bureau headquarters, 724 Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce, said Carrie L. Draper, coordinator of the study led by Dr. Sonya Jones, deputy director of Arnold School’s Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities.
The study is funded by a $550,000 grant from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and aims to solve the problem of childhood hunger in the United States by 2015. Nationally some 16 million children, or one in five, are considered hungry or “food insecure.”
Jones, a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is collaborating on the study with Drs. Angela Liese, Christine Blake and Jan Probst from the Arnold School, Dr. Darcy Freedman of the College of Social Work, and Dr. Bethany Bell of the College of Education.
Draper said the survey’s early findings show that community residents are shocked to learn that that hunger is prevalent in so many places in an otherwise prosperous United States. Another common thread is that residents believe that communities need to learn how to work together to promote the common good.
The South Carolina component of the national initiative has focused on the plight of children in Richland, Fairfield, Kershaw, Chester, Lancaster, Calhoun, Orangeburg and Clarendon counties where researchers have interviewed state and community organizations and some 600 caregivers.
At the end of the study, researchers will prepare recommendations based on discussions with community leaders and caregiver interviews. A group of families will review the recommendations with an eye toward answering whether they are realistic and can help solve the problem of hunger.
Reservations are requested for the Oct. 2 gathering. For information and reservations, contact Draper at email@example.com or call 803-528-4498.