While food insecurity has been, and continues to be, a major issue, huge strides have been made for food insecure children. Food insecurity is defined as “a federal measure of a household’s ability to provide enough food for every person in the household to have an active, healthy life.”1. The food insecure can experience reduced quality or variety of diet, disrupted eating patterns, hunger, reduced food intake, and lack of access to food.2
However, in the last few years, childhood food insecurity has dropped substantially. Recent reports show that the percentage of households that were food insecure dropped from 14.0% in 2014 to 12.7% in 20153. Additionally, the percentage of households with children that were food insecure dropped from 19.2% in 2014, to 16.6% in 2015; a total of 2.2 million less children that couldn’t count on their next meal3.
Although these strides are encouraging and considerable, there is still work to be done. Many of the nation’s children and households still struggle to either find the resources that they’re eligible for, or just put food on the table. While this is a multi-faceted issue, the most important role is for the community nutritionist. Their job is to provide the education and spread the availability and eligibility of current government food supplement programs. The more outreach, the more households with children will be able to count on their next nutritious and satiating meal.
- Feeding America. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/. Accessed March 15, 2017.
- United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security.aspx. Accessed March 15, 2017.
- United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2016/november/food-insecurity-among-children-declined-to-pre-recession-levels-in-2015/. Accessed March 15, 2017.