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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

Bad Financial Habits May Cause Hunger, According To North Texas Food Bank Study

Rick Holter
Richard Amory is Research Director at the North Texas Food Bank's Hunger Center.

New research out of the North Texas Food Bank's Hunger Center explores the link between food security and other financial habits. According to Research Director Richard Amory, data shows bad financial practices may actually cause food insecurity. 

Interview Highlights: Richard Amory on... the research worked: “People answered a lot of questions for us, including a whole set of questions about financial management skills. They covered four areas of financial life: Knowledge, practices, confidence and beliefs. And they asked the question, ‘Does more of this skill make people more food secure and their answer was yes, very much so.’”

...what the research found: “On the left side of the curve you have 500 people who got lower scores. To the right, there’s 500 who got higher scores. What the researchers found was this. If you can narrow that gap between the two sides. If those in the middle of the left side could get closer to the skill level of those in the middle of the right side of the curve, they could decrease their risk of hunger by 18 percentage points. In other words nearly one in five of them could become food secure. They did something which is rare in this type of research. They describe lower financial management scores as a cause of food insecurity not just a correlation.”

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.