Fighting Hunger to Fight Violence

September 26, 2016
Exploring the connection between hunger and violence

Claretian Initiative programs take a multi-dimensional approach to solving community problems because the issues they face are complex and interrelated. Take violence prevention, for example. Programs that tackle violence head-on are vital, but many factors can put a young person at risk for engaging in violence. New research sheds light on one factor, revealing the role childhood hunger has in causing violence.

Past research has already shown that victims of violence are more likely to suffer from food insecurity later in life. Now we know that unfortunately the opposite is also true—people who go hungry often as children are more likely to engage in violence when they’re older. Of study participants who suffered from frequent hunger as children, 37% reported involvement in interpersonal violence, compared to only 15% of those who experienced little or no hunger. This is likely related to the fact that those who experience childhood hunger often exhibit poor impulse control as adults.

True violence prevention involves addressing contributing factors like food insecurity and hunger as well as the issue of violence. That’s why violence-plagued tCI communities like Chicago’s Holy Cross develop multiple programs like Reflections, which provides direct outreach to teens and young adult males involved in gangs and violence, and the Kids Meal Program for K-12 students. They know that providing young people with a healthy third meal of the day helps safeguard the kids and the community for years to come.

Every dollar you donate to one of tCI’s programs works in multiple ways to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Consider making a donation to the program of your choice today—95% of your gift will go directly to the program!

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