From the Children’s HealthWatch:
Food insecurity, like any serious illness, threatens the health and development of our nation’s children. Fortunately, ways to address food insecurity and prevent its reoccurrence exist. We have the opportunity to improve the health of millions of people nationwide by increasing their ability to afford healthful food. Recognizing the public health necessity of providing families with children resources to purchase food, the United States government has programs to provide children and their families with nutritional support. Programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) , and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are critical remedies that have been shown to reduce food insecurity and improve health and development in early childhood.5,6,7 However, inadequate funding and participation barriers have limited these programs’ ability to alleviate food insecurity and effectively treat households with children. While the growing economy has contributed to reductions in food insecurity, there is still an urgent need and significant opportunity to make critical policy changes that will further such reductions and betterprotect families in future economic downturns.
In this brief from Children’s HealthWatch in the ‘What If …?’ series, “A Treatment Plan for Hunger: SNAP, WIC, and the Community Eligibility Provision,” Children’s HealthWatch asked, “What if we optimized key child nutrition programs to reduce food insecurity?” Through innovative simulation modeling techniques, they explore how reasonable policy improvements to SNAP, WIC, and NSLP have the potential to significantly reduce the number of families experiencing food insecurity.