Traditionally nutrition has centered around physical health without the broad study of what we eat and how diet affects mental health. This effect is felt among the homeless and displaced population. Well-meaning organizations and individuals with the best intentions and a genuine desire to impact the hungry strategize on feeding in quantity and as cost-effective as possible. They may overlook the actual economic community cost of such a plan.
Nutritional Phycology is an emerging field of study and enlightens us on the impact of the already poor American diet against the homeless and displaced epidemic backdrop. A meal of Carbohydrate-rich foods, e.g., pasta, cakes, sugar colas, and processed foods, are typical shelter provisions for the hungry. Many will say it is better than starvation; however, the realized cost to the individual and community resources is more than the perceived savings of the mass meals.