Holidays Increase Hunger Risk For Poor (170)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Christmas holidays seem like a time of plenty, but it’s a period when some people are likely to go hungry, a University of Tennessee nutritionist said Tuesday.

 Dr. Betsy Haughton said poor, elderly and homebound people and children are more apt to go hungry.

 “Families most at risk from hunger spend a greater percentage of their income on heating and medical bills during winter,” Haughton said.

 “They feel the spirit of giving and want to buy gifts. This leaves less money for food.”

 Not all needy families or individuals have access to food because of inadequate food distribution systems in some communities, Haughton said.

 Graduate students in Haughton’s community nutrition course are working with Knoxville’s Community Action Committee and Food Policy Council to monitor these and other problems and improve the local food system throughout the year.

 “It is especially sad that hunger is most likely to strike during the holidays, but it is a problem that we must be aware of and continue to fight year round,” Haughton said.

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 Contact: Dr. Betsy Haughton (423-974-5445)