In July, I posted about the Summer Food Service Program, but I did not really discuss the problem the federal government was trying to solve. The Summer Food Service Program, SNAP, and other federal food and nutrition programs seek to lower the rate of food insecurity in US households with children. The USDA defines food insecurity as “the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food.” It is estimated that around 16% of US households with children face food insecurity at some point in the year, with 8.3% where the children were food insecure. Another .8% where children faced very low food security. This means that in over 9% of households with children, the children face times without food or inadequate food, which is the highest rate since the USDA began collecting data in 1995. This is due in large part to the current economic decline and employment crisis.
In order to meet the growing food security needs in the US, as well as improve the overall health and well-being of children and families, the US Senate passed the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The Act includes section on ending childhood hunger, reducing childhood obesity, improving children’s diet, and improving the management of child nutrition programs. I am not going to summarize the whole bill, but it seems to streamline processes that were previously considered barriers to program uptake. Hopefully, this means more families will take advantage of programs to reduce food insecurity. To learn more about the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, click here.
To read our previous post about the Summer Food Service Program, click here.