Food insecurity

Children need nutritious food to play, learn, and grow.  While most kids in the U.S. have plenty to eat, some do not know if there will be safe, healthy food available for their next meal.  These children experience food insecurity, which is limited or intermittent access to nutritionally adequate, safe, and acceptable foods accessed in socially acceptable ways.  In 2008, 14.6% of U.S. households with children, or more than 49 million people, experienced food insecurity.

Food insecurity has many nutrition and non-nutrition consequences for children and adults.  Food-insecure individuals have lower dietary quality, with decreased consumption of vegetables, greater percentage of calories from fat, and fewer breakfasts.  Children in food-insecure households have a higher risk of developmental delay, behavioral problems, and poor academic performance than their food-secure peers.  In addition, food-insecure children are more likely to be hospitalized with illness and may be more likely to become obese.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help more children have access to safe, healthy food.  For example:

    • Learn more about hunger.  Read books, newspaper articles, and website about food insecurity in the U.S. and around the world.  Then, go tell others what you have learned!
    • Volunteer your time.  Food banks, soup kitchens, and local hunger action groups are always looking for people who are willing to help.
    • Donate.  Contact your local food pantry to learn what foods they need, then provide accordingly.

For more information, visit:

Bread for the World –
Congressional Hunger Center –
Community Food Security Coalition –
Feeding America –


Guest Blogger: Leah Sabato, RD, LD
Leah is clinical dietitian in the Lipid Clinic and on the 3 West General Pediatrics floor at Dayton Children’s. She loves working with children and their families and believes that good nutrition should be easy, tasty, and fun!



  1. Reply
    Sarah March 1, 2011

    Nice post- thanks for sharing your ideas. And, thanks for the mention :)

    Feeding America

  2. Reply
    Richard Kawane April 4, 2011

    Childrens health is so important. Good on you and organisations like yours that care for those less fortunate then others…God bless.

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