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Report Ties Disability To Lack Of Access To Healthy Food

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new study has detailed how tough it is for low-income people who are disabled to get an adequate amount of healthy food in the Chicago area, putting them at greater risk of experiencing hunger.

The report by the Greater Chicago Food Depository found 31 percent of households that have a disabled working-age adult in the Chicago area are "food insecure," meaning they don't get enough nutritious food and have less access to it throughout the city and suburbs. That's in comparison to 8 percent of similar households without a disabled working-age adult.

Sometimes the issue is lack of transportation, other times stairs are a barrier to getting into a food pantry.

Food Depository spokesman Jim Conwell said part of the blame lies in the two-year state budget impasse.

"This problem is clearly being made worse by the state budget stalemate," he said.

The report also said private charities need to do more in helping with access to healthy food, doing away with physical barriers, and minimizing long outdoor wait times at food pantries.

"We're foreseeing an increased need for home-delivered meals and home-delivered food," Conwell said.

The report recommends passage of a state budget that adequately funds social services, and that private charities step up to help eliminate some of the physical barriers.

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