The flurry of activity last month included the release of an important new study, “Bringing Teens to the Table: A Focus on Food Insecurity in America,” exposing the plight of teenagers facing hunger conducted by Feeding America and the Urban Institute. It reveals the challenges and coping strategies employed by teens struggling with hunger.
Teenagers often have to help their families figure out how everyone in the household has enough to eat, especially younger siblings. One commented, “I feel like just knowing if food’s running low, it’s pressure on me because I feel like they need to eat, they can’t go without eating…”
At the same time many teens talked about the fear and stigma around hunger and actively working to hide it as much as they can in order to fit in. A teen who participated in the focus group explained, “A lot of students struggle on the weekends, because they’re not at school, and they don’t have food to eat.”