Baltimore Sun Commentary by Mark Furst - August 11, 2014
Nearly everyone agrees that education is the pathway out of poverty and that a stable family life is crucial to nurturing young children. Yet here in central Maryland, homelessness and family instability present barriers to academic success for too many kids.
Teachers, principals and school superintendents tell us that adverse student mobility — children being forced to change schools repeatedly through life circumstances, including homelessness — is among their most vexing problems in seeing children succeed in school. The best way to deal with homelessness, especially when young children are involved, is to prevent it.
This year's Families Living United Healthy Food Week has provided access to healthy food to thousands of families in central Maryland. Thanks to our generous donors and partners, we collected more than 137,000 pounds of food that was distributed to local food banks, pantries and soup kitchens.
What exactly does that mean for our community? Access to healthy food impacts eating behavior.
When fresh, wholesome food is available in a community, residents’ diets improve and conditions like diabetes, obesity and stunted cognitive development in children are less likely to occur.
Achieving the building blocks of a successful life – education, financial stability and health – depends on many factors. The odds are stacked against those facing poverty.
Understanding the cycle of poverty can be a challenge if you’ve never experienced it.
How can you purchase nutritious food if you don’t have a car or reliable public transportation? What if your infant is sick but your job is at risk if you stay home from work? How can you help your kids with their homework when you are balancing two jobs? What do you do if an eviction notice arrives and you’ve exhausted all of your resources for the month?
These are the types of questions thousands of central Maryland families must tackle.
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Changing the Odds: Access to Healthy Food
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