Food Insecurity

We've put together a collection of research and recommendations that help summarize the impact of food insecurity and how we can improve the lives of children facing food insecurity.

Food Insecurity Overview

Food insecurity — the limited or uncertain access to enough food — is a critical child health issue that impacts millions of infants, children, youth, and families in all communities across the U.S. Children of all ages who live in households with food insecurity, even at the least severe levels of food insecurity, are likely to be sick more often, recover from illness more slowly, and be hospitalized more frequently. Unfortunately, 1 in 7 U.S. children lives in a household struggling against food insecurity. Pediatricians can play a critical role in addressing food insecurity, a health-related unmet social need with harmful impacts on child health, development, and well-being.

AAP Recommendations

In a policy statement, Promoting Food Security for All Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians :

  • Screen and identify children at risk for food insecurity;
  • Connect families to needed community resources; and
  • Advocate with other key partners and stakeholders for federal, state, and local policies that support access to adequate and healthy food so that all children and their families can be nourished, active, and healthy

Professional Tools & Resources

Food insecurity is an important and often hidden problem in the United States. The following resources are designed to help you identify and address childhood food insecurity.

Promoting Food Access for Kids: How the Pediatric Community Can Effect Change

Join CHA and American Academy of Pediatrics for a three-part webinar series exploring ways that children’s hospitals and pediatric practices can address the hunger needs of children and families.

USDA's Actions on Nutrition Security: The Role of the Healthcare Sector and Pediatricians
In the first webinar, "USDA’s Actions on Nutrition Security: The Role of the Healthcare Sector and Pediatricians," learn about how the USDA is leading a whole-department approach to tackling food and nutrition insecurity.
Promising Clinical Practices to Build Nutrition Security for Children and Families
In the second webinar, "Promising Clinical Practices to Build Nutrition Security," learn about creative ways pediatric practices can address families’ food needs, such as on-site food pantries and food prescriptions.
Telling the Story: How Pediatricians and Children's Hospitals Are Advocating for Nutrition Security
In the third webinar, "Telling the Story: How Pediatricians and Children’s Hospitals are Advocating for Nutrition Security,” hear about strategies taking place on the state and local level to institute policy changes to help build towards nutrition security.

Resources for Families

Pediatricians are trusted sources of knowledge and guidance to support health and well-being. The following resources can help families understand the impact of food insecurity and find reliable programs and services.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Authentic Engagement, Real Impact: Using a Community First Approach to Address Food Insecurity

March is National Nutrition Month – a great time to spotlight practical ways within the community to address food insecurity for youth and their parents.

Voices Blog


March 20, 2024

For Children to Thrive, They Must Have Access to Healthy Food

There are a number of ways to strengthen the safety net for families in a way that is easily accessible and flexible, including expanding SNAP benefits and reducing administrative burdens for applications and renewals.

Voices Blog


May 15, 2020

Recognizing and Addressing Food Insecurity Among Families

Many children are struggling with not having enough to eat, especially during the pandemic, so it’s important to screen for hunger issues at your medical practice.

Voices Blog


February 22, 2021