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Stable, Affordable Housing Supports Young Children's Health in Philadelphia

May 1, 2012

Children's HealthWatch researchers analyzed survey data collected from caregivers in Phildelphia between 2005 and 2011. In the sample of 4,500 families, Children's HealthWatch found that about 56% of families were housing insecure. Housing insecurity is associated with poor health outcomes in very young children. Short-and long term interventions that help stabilize families in affordable housing will improve the health and development of Philadelphia's youngest children.

Ending Hunger in Montgomery County

May 1, 2012

Though Montgomery County is listed as the 20th wealthiest county in the United States and has been ranked the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes Magazine, it has seen an extraordinary increase in eligibility for food stamps. Such an increase suggests that families are struggling to pay for food and other basic needs. Food insecurity, known as the lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life, is associated with an increase in developmental risk, risk of poor health, and poor school performance. Food insecurity is also associated with increased rates of maternal depressive symptoms, exposure to childhood violence, and stress disorders. This report provides a preliminary needs assessment regarding food insecurity and hunger for Montgomery County by utilizing multiple data sources, connecting with key stakeholders, and understanding the immediate and long-term needs of low?income families. It describes a variety of measures for food insecurity and food hardship, showing that approximately 16% of children were food insecure in Montgomery County in 2011. For potentially more severe forms of food insecurity, where people cut the size of their meal due to lack of money, the overall rate rose from 5.0% in 2004 to 8.6% in 2010. Increases in this rate were more pronounced in Pottstown and Norristown compared to the North Penn area. Clearly, efforts at protecting vulnerable citizens in the North Penn area have helped to limit the negative effects of the recession.

Children of Immigrants: Healthy Beginnings Derailed by Food Insecurity

October 1, 2010

Children of immigrants are the fastest growing child population in the United States. More than 20 percent of children under age six have immigrant parents; approximately 93 percent of these children are American citizens.Of the children who are non-citizens, two-thirds will grow up to become citizens, playing a critical role in our nation's future.

Earning More, Receiving Less: Loss of Benefits and Child Hunger

September 14, 2010

New research from Children's HealthWatch shows that increases in income that trigger loss of public assistance benefits can leave young children without enough food to eat. Families hat have been cut off from SNAP or TANF when their income exceeds eligibility limits are more likely to experience levels of food insecurity that require reducing the size or frequency of children's meals compared to those currently receiving benefits. Previous research has demonstrated that both SNAP and TANF reduce the likelihood of food insecurity. Income eligibility guidelines should be re-examined to ensure that a modest increase in income does not disqulaify a family from the benefits they need to keep their children healthy and well-fed. Families that successfully increase their earnings should not find themselves worse off due to a resulting loss of benefits.