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Reports & Research

The Impact of Food Insecurity on Child Well-Being

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In this article, ICF experts, Patrick Heiman and Courtney Barthle, look at the impact that food insecurity has on young children in the United States and how it affects their health, cognitive, and behavioral well-being throughout their up-bringing.

In 2014, over 15.3 million children lived in food insecure households, and the rate of children living in “very food insecure” households are on the rise. Food insecurity is driven by situations such as poverty and limited household resources, but parental substance abuse, negative parenting behavior, and housing instability are also contributing factors.

Food insecurity affects child development not only through the infant and toddler stages, but throughout the child’s life into adulthood.

There has been an active response among federal and state governments, schools, and community agencies to address this epidemic. Two such programs, Backpack Programs and Farmer’s Market, are discussed in the article.

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