Study: Hunger and food insecurity cost state $2.4 billion in healthcare spending

Recommends increased funding for Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program

BOSTON (WWLP) – One in ten people struggle with hunger in Massachusetts, according to the report released at the State House on Tuesday by the Greater Boston Food Bank and Children’s HealthWatch.

The report also says that health issues related to hunger and food insecurities cost the state an estimated $2.4 billion per year. Hunger can lead to impaired brain development, diabetes and heart problems.

Level of hunger in western Massachusetts remains high

“What we’ve discovered is that if you provide enough adequate food for people, they’re a lot less likely to have bad health outcomes,” the report’s principal investigator John Cook said. “And so that can save the Commonwealth a lot of money.”

Western Mass. fights hunger through advocacy training

The report recommends the state increase funding for the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program and require breakfast in the classroom at high-poverty schools.