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Monday, December 14, 2015

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FAMILY RUNS OUT OF FOOD STAMPS



Toward the end of every month, hospitals in California see a curious uptick in admissions for hypoglycemia, the kind of low blood sugar that can affect diabetics. The pattern, described in a recent study by University of California, San Francisco researchers, is almost entirely driven by low-income patients. The researchers suspect this trend may result from families running out of the food stamps they received as a lump sum at the start of the month. Grocery stores in poor neighborhoods often report a rise in business when food stamps are electronically debited, and hospitals may see the result when they run out. Amid the well-documented long-term effects of food stamps in alleviating hunger and easing poverty, week to week it looks as if the food stamp cycle may also influence hospital admissions, student test scores, and even childhood behavior.


Source: Washington Post, 12/9/15, Running Out of Food Stamps