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Food Insecurity

Changing the Narrative to Change the Policy: Ending Hunger in America


This brief represents the insight and expertise of people with lived experience and their solutions to address poverty and hunger in America.

Policy Solutions to End Hunger in America: Calling on the White House for Radical Strategy Change


This policy brief outlines the solutions necessary to make true and lasting change regarding food insecurity and diet-related health through both specific programmatic changes and larger-scale philosophical shifts. 

SNAP Participants Collaborative: Improve SNAP Benefits to Promote Health and Reduce Hunger


Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are the true experts on the program. In this brief, they summarize the current challenges of the program and offer specific policy recommendations to improve its ability to address food insecurity across the United States. 

Minimum Wage is Not Enough: A True Living Wage is Necessary to Reduce Poverty and Improve Health


The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour for more than 12 years. While the U.S. minimum wage was never truly a living wage, over time it has done less to reflect the true value of workers and no longer supports families in a way that promotes health and keeps them out of poverty. Many arguments have been made against raising the federal minimum wage. This brief lays out the clear benefits to individual workers, businesses, and the community that outweigh the potential challenges that will arise from providing a living wage to all workers.

Universal Basic Income: Key to Reducing Food Insecurity and Improving Health


This policy report highlights the challenges of the current public benefits programs in addressing poverty and provides an overview of universal basic income as a viable solution, including results from almost 50 years of guaranteed income pilot programs.

Reducing Food Insecurity Without Food: Trauma-Informed Financial Education Program Improves Food Security


This 2020 report shows that participation in a trauma-informed educational program reduced the odds of household food insecurity for families with low or no income.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Household Food Insecurity


This research report shows that families reporting Adverse Childhood Experiences, such as domestic violence, neighborhood violence, and family substance abuse, were much more likely to experience household food insecurity.

From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting at the Roots of Food Insecurity


In this 2018 report, research from Children HealthWatch in Philadelphia documents differences in food insecurity in relation to experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination. Additional briefs spotlight the discrimination experienced in public, healthcare, school, work, and criminal justice system.

Keeping Children's Weight on Track: A Pathway to Health and Well-Being


This 2018 report examines weight trajectories among 2,719 children interviewed by Children's HealthWatch.

Philadelphia Hunger Increases


In this 2017 Children's HealthWatch report, research shows that food insecurity in Philadelphia is increasing at the household and child level for families of children under age 4. In families with a caregiver working at least 20 hours per week, food insecurity is rising even faster.

Childhood Adversity and Food Insecurity in Adulthood: Intergenerational Transfer of Hardship


The more adverse childhood experiences a caregiver reports, the more likely she is to report more severe forms of food insecurity, according to this Children's HealthWatch brief.

Philadelphia Hardship Data


This 2016 Children's HealthWatch report provides a breakdown of the demographic, food insecurity and other hardship data that the Children's HealthWatch team collected from 2005 to 2016.

Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States of America


To identify solutions to hunger, Congress created the bipartisan National Commission on Hunger to provide policy recommendations to Congress and the USDA Secretary to more effectively use existing programs and funds of the Department of Agriculture to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity. This report is a summary of the findings of public hearings from eight cities and over 180 testimonies.

The Relationship Between Childhood Adversity and Food Insecurity


The childhood stress study report released in 2015 investigated the relationship between adverse childhood experiences—including abuse, neglect, and household instability—and food security status.

Making SNAP Work for Families Leaving Poverty


SNAP is effective in reducing food insecurity. However, this 2014 report shows that when SNAP is reduced too quickly or families are cut off of SNAP because of an increase in income, they experience greater hardships than those who consistently receive SNAP. 

Cost of Cutting SNAP


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is America's first line of defense against hunger, but as shown in this report, it is not enough for many families to make it through each month.

Punishing Hard Work: Consequences of Cutting SNAP Benefits


This 2013 Children's HealthWatch report looks at the “cliff effect” related to nutrition assistance programs and offers policy recommendations that would ensure families can climb to economic independence and not “fall off a cliff” when they begin to make progress toward self-sufficiency.

Multiple Hardships Among Philadelphia Families with Young Children (2008-2011)


For many low-income families, hardships are rarely experienced in isolation. This 2012 report looks at the instances and impacts of housing, energy, and food insecurity and when families experience more than one at a time.

The SNAP Vaccine: Boosting Children's Health


This 2012 report examines the impact of SNAP on the health of young children, specifically among those from immigrant families, and provides recommendations to improve the program to better meet the needs of families.

WIC Improves Child Health Outcomes


This 2012 policy brief looks at the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for child health and stresses the importance of protecting its funding.

The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet


This 2011 report looks at the cost of a healthy diet by examining the affordability and accessibility of food for those receiving SNAP benefits, based on the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan.

Too Many Hurdles: Barriers to Receiving SNAP Put Children’s Health at Risk


This Children's HealthWatch report from 2011 looks at how barriers to accessing SNAP put children’s nutrition, health, and growth at risk. 

Child Care Feeding Programs Support Young Children’s Healthy Development


This Children's HealthWatch brief highlights research findings that show toddlers in subsidized child care with supplied meals are more likely to be in good health than similar toddlers whose meals must be supplied from home.

Children of Immigrants: Healthy Beginnings Derailed by Food Insecurity


This Children's HealthWatch report shows the role food insecurity plays in harming the health of young children of immigrants, despite their likelihood of having a healthier start.

Earning More, Receiving Less: Loss of Benefits and Child Hunger


This 2010 report shows that families who lose SNAP or TANF benefits when they exceed income eligibility limits experience higher rates of child food insecurity than those receiving benefits.

Energy Insecurity is a Major Threat to Child Health


This 2010 Children's HealthWatch report shares that young children in energy insecure homes are at high risk for food insecurity, poor health, hospitalizations, and developmental delays. The recession increased the risk of energy insecurity, putting more children’s health in jeopardy.

Healthy Families in Hard Times: Solutions for Multiple Family Hardships


Families experiencing multiple hardships suffer negative health effects that have life-long consequences; this June 2010 study shows that as the number and severity of hardships increase, so do risks to children’s health and development.

Affordable Health Care Keeps Children and Families Healthy


This Children's HealthWatch report presents that the health of young children is negatively impacted when parents cannot afford healthcare for themselves or or when parents have to forego payment of household expenses in order to pay for healthcare.

Even Very Low Levels of Food Insecurity Found to Harm Children’s Health


This 2009 Children's HealthWatch report highlights that many of the 2.6 million children under age five living in marginally food-secure households are not receiving needed nutritional support through WIC.

Feeding Our Future: Growing Up Healthy with WIC


This 2009 report highlights the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and challenges limiting access for families who need it.

Food Insecurity Rates Rise Steeply with Recession


This 2009 Children's HealthWatch report explores the impact of the 2008 recession on food insecurity.

Coming Up Short: High food costs outstrip food stamp benefits


This research report looks at the cost of a healthy diet by examining the affordability and accessibility of food for those receiving SNAP benefits, based on the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan. Philadelphia-specific data are also presented

Balancing Acts: Energy Insecurity Among Low-Income Babies and Toddlers of Color


This report highlights the negative effects of energy insecurity on food insecurity and health of low-income babies and toddlers of color.

Fuel for Our Future: Impacts of Energy Insecurity on Children’s Health, Nutrition, and Learning


This September 2007 report examines the impact of rising energy prices on low-income families and provides recommendations to minimize the impact on child health.