Did You Know: August

OpFeedThanks to our generous Board and workshop attendees, OPA collected 237 pounds of food for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Congratulations to Dr. Laura Burns, who won the drawing for a free Convention workshop.

Thousands of people in Ohio are facing hunger. People who never thought this could happen to them are struggling just to get by. Many are faced with difficult situations, having to choose between paying for housing, utilities or medical expenses and putting food on the table.

  • More than 248,000 individuals receive emergency food each year through Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
  • 35% of food requests from pantries are for children.
  • 15% are for senior citizens.
  • Only 5% of clients are homeless; 1 in 5 is a homeowner.
  • 18% of those seeking assistance have been in managerial or professional jobs.

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides a summary of the myriad effects of poverty, homelessness and hunger on children and youth. Below are just a few of the effects.

  • A community sample that classified low-income children ages six to twelve as “hungry, ” “at-risk for hunger,” or “not hungry” found that hungry children were significantly more likely to receive special education services, to have repeated a grade in school, and to have received mental health counseling than at-risk-for-hunger or not-hungry children.
  • In this same study, hungry children exhibited 7 to 12 times as many symptoms of conduct disorder (such as fighting, blaming others for problems, having trouble with a teacher, not listening to rules, stealing) than their at-risk or not-hungry peers.
  • Among low-income children, those classified as “hungry” show increased anxious, irritable, aggressive and oppositional behavior in comparison to peers.
  • Additionally, the multiple stressors associated with poverty result in significantly increased risk for developing psychiatric and functional problems.