Dating old refrigerator

Overall, the cost of food in the area has gone up 25 percent between 20, she said.

If a family is suffering from hunger, children are more likely to be hospitalized and to have developmental delay, said Chilton.

Many people must work irregular hours, often without set scheduling, which plays havoc with workers who must line up child care.

It all can create hunger problems for parents who are doing their best but can’t keep up with the basic costs of living here, Chilton said, adding that food stamp benefits meant to last a month often run out in two to three weeks in a city of high food prices.

According to Chilton’s research, the food insecurity rate of children in North Philadelphia rose from 3.1 percent in 2006 — before the start of the recession — to 9.7 percent in 2016. “Sometimes, I don’t eat,” Sakho said, expressing a mother’s simple solution for family hunger in Philadelphia. I feel I can’t provide for my kids, and I’m personally going hungry trying for them.” Sakho, who is attending West Chester University and is two years short of a degree in public health, said her children don’t skip meals because she’ll borrow money to feed them.

But, she added in a quiet voice, “There’s not as much for them as I want to have.” Too often, she said, the children have cold cereal without milk for breakfast. “It’s not enough,” said Sakho, a member of Chilton’s Building Wealth and Health Network, which is designed to develop entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency among low-income families.

The divorced, certified nursing assistant from Southwest Philadelphia puts in 40 hours a week.

But even with her salary and a 0 monthly allotment of food stamps, there isn’t always enough to feed her 10-year-old daughter and year-old son.

“I’m working, but people who see me don’t know the refrigerator is empty.” Sakho’s “deeply alarming” plight is becoming more common, said Mariana Chilton, director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities and a professor of health management and policy at School of Public Health at Drexel University.

“The standard refrain is that if a person works, he or she won’t be poor, won’t be hungry,” Chilton concluded.

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