Supporting the Feeding America food banks and their affiliates serving Iowa in their work to ensure that sufficient food is accessible to all.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Impacts of Hunger on the Economy

  • Hungry children are sick more often and are more likely to have to be hospitalized and these costs are passed along to the business community and cause insurance and tax burdens. The average pediatric hospitalization costs approximately $12,000. Long-term, this contributes to high health care costs. (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch report: “Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on our Nation”)
  • Workers who experienced hunger as kids are not as well prepared physically, mentally, emotionally, or socially to perform effectively in the contemporary workforce (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch Report)
  • The annual cost of food insecurity is:
    • $130.5 billion due to illness costs linked to hunger and food insecurity
    •  $19.2 billion - value of poor educational outcomes and lower lifetime earnings linked to hunger and food insecurity
    • $17.8 billion – charitable contributions to address hunger and food insecurity
    • Hunger costs $542 for every citizen (Center for American Progress, Hunger in America)
  • Child hunger leads to greater absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover in the work force, which is costly to employers. Children’s sick days are linked to parent employee absences. (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch report)
  • In total, due to high school absenteeism and repeating grades, food insecurity led to a loss of $19.2 billion in life-time earnings in 2010. (Center for American Progress)
  • Child hunger itself costs the U.S. economy at least $28 billion per year because poorly nourished children perform less well in school and require far more long-term health care spending (Brown, Shepard, Martin, Orwat, 2007)
  • Workers who experienced hunger as children create a workforce pool that is less competitive, with lower levels of educational and technical skills, and seriously constrained human capital. (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch Report)