Teens Across US Economically Forced Into Exchanging Sex Work for Food

09.13.2016

For Immediate Release: September 13, 2016                                                     

Contact: Magen Allen

MAllen@hungerfreeamerica.org

(212) 825-0028 x212

Teens Across US Economically Forced Into

Exchanging Sex Work for Food

A study conducted by The Urban Institute recently found that teenagers across the US are going to severe lengths in order to obtain food for survival.  The study was conducted in ten different communities across the United States, each having one female and one male focus group.  It found that in 13 of the 20 focus groups, girls, and sometimes young boys, were exchanging sexual favors in order to obtain food to feed themselves and their families.

“In a nation as wealthy as the United States, these findings are absolutely deplorable,” says Hunger Free America CEO, Joel Berg.  “For anyone, and especially teenagers, to have to go to these lengths to get food to feed their families, is absolutely unspeakable.  We must work to increase access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) as well as increase awareness of youth feeding programs such as the USDA summer meals program and school food programs like breakfast in the classroom, so that everyone can have uninhibited access to the affordable nutrition they deserve.”

Right now anyone in the US can call the toll-free USDA National Hunger Hotline to find a free hot meal or food pantry site near them.  The hotline is available in English and in Spanish at: 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE.  To find volunteer opportunities to help teens in your community, people may visit www.hungervolunteer.org.

The Urban Institute Study:

http://apps.urban.org/features/food-insecurity/

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