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Soaring Food Prices Put the Squeeze on the Poor

The rising cost of food is having an impact on Americans across the country, in particular children. As food prices keep increasing, food stamps are losing their buying power. It’s a blow to families struggling to make nutricious food choices. Members of Congress are already calling for an immediate temporary food stamp increase of 20% rather than wait for an inflation-related increase that’s due in the fall of 2008.

Some of the biggest price jumps have been in nutritious foods, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In 2007, the price of soda went up 2.8 percent, but the price of milk went up 10.2 percent; affecting low-income consumers purchasing choices. According to the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program, a grantee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, without enough nutritious food, children are more vulnerable to illness, emotional problems and developmental delays. Doctors at Boston Medical Center cite research estimating that infants and toddlers who live in homes that are “food insecure” are 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized than those with enough to eat.

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