Weekly Column »

Youth Employment

It looks like there will be more jobs for teens this summer. According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employment among teens (aged 16-19)...


College Attendance Trends

The relationship between attaining more education or training and benefits such as higher earnings and greater job security is widely recognized. At the same time,...


Oil Update  

After years of rapid increases, US crude oil production is expected to decline for the month of May for several of the key shale formations (including the Eagle...


Small Business Optimism

Small business owners are feeling optimistic about the economy and the health of their companies. Even so, they’re cautious about investing or expanding. American...


Close, but No Cigar (Yet)

It looks like we are finally going to be treated to an all-too-rare accomplishment: meaningful, bipartisan agreement in Washington.  House Speaker John Boehner...


Solving the Problem of Hunger Yields

Huge Economic Benefits

New Study by The Perryman Group Quantifies Economic Costs of Hunger in the United States and Benefits of Investments in Solving the Problem

Click to see a PDF of the report.

Click to view a PDF of the report.

When the costs of hunger and benefits of solving the problem by expanding the food bank network are considered, an investment in solving US hunger generates substantial economic returns. In fact, a new pro bono study by The Perryman Group estimates that every dollar invested in this process results in $33.27 in incremental spending, $15.82 in additional gross product, and $10.31 in personal income (including related multiplier effects).

Even beyond the obvious physical and mental costs of food insecurity and the incalculable toll on the stability and dignity of families across the United States, there is also a tremendous economic cost. Health care needs of people who are food insecure are higher due to increased incidence and severity of disease. Health outcomes are also worse, reducing productivity and lifetime earnings. In addition, education expenses are higher, with a greater need for intervention such as special education. Achievement levels (and, hence, lifetime earnings) are negatively affected. These costs multiply as they work their way through the business complex and are largely borne by the whole of society. The Perryman Group estimates that hunger costs the US economy $461.9 billion in total expenditures and $221.9 billion in gross product each year as well as nearly 2.5 million permanent jobs on an ongoing basis.

On an incidence basis, the lifetime costs associated with hunger at current levels are almost $3.4 trillion in aggregate spending, over $1.5 trillion in gross product, and 15.9 million years of employment.

“Unlike many social problems, hunger involves a relatively simple answer,” said Dr. Ray Perryman, President and CEO of The Perryman Group. “If people are provided food, the problem is solved. While the underlying causes certainly need to be addressed, the major harms can be avoided in a straightforward manner.”

The Perryman Group estimates that the incremental benefits of expanding food bank and charitable food distribution networks enough to meet current food insecurity needs include $556.6 billion in yearly spending, $264.7 billion in annual gross product, and almost 3.1 million ongoing jobs in the United States.

“Tens of millions of Americans do not have enough food to meet basic daily needs, which is nothing short of tragic,” said Dr. Perryman. “Every year that this problem is allowed to persist literally saps trillions of dollars in long-term economic potential from the United States.”

The full report is available as a PDF, as well as an infographic highlighting the major statistics.

With good information, students can make better decisions, enhancing prosperity for students, families, and society. http://t.co/Cozpo3nse0
Benefits of increasing level of educational attainment well known; but student loans can be major challenge. http://t.co/Cozpo3nse0
Engineering majors had highest starting salary at $64,891, while liberal arts/humanities were lowest at $38,604. http://t.co/Cozpo3nse0