Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
October 18, 2022DOWNLOAD
Food insecurity—the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life—is a problem for people of all ages, but it is especially troubling for families with children.
Food-insecure children are more likely than their food-secure peers to experience physical and behavioral health problems; they have higher rates of hospitalization, but are less likely to have access to health care.
Based on a 1,507-person statewide Survey of Food and Health from NYHealth, this brief explores how food insecurity affects New York families and the steps policymakers and health care providers can take to improve the health and wellbeing of food-insecure families with children.
Key findings include:
- Nearly half of all food-insecure households with children have children who have gone hungry in the last year.
- Nearly 90% of food-insecure adults with children have skipped meals, compared with three-quarters of childless food-insecure adults.
- Food-insecure adults with children are twice as likely to report poor or fair health and three times more likely than food-secure adults with children to report stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Food-insecure families with children are more than three-and-a-half times as likely as food-secure families with children to report that transportation is sometimes, often, or always a barrier to getting food.
- Food-insecure families with children are more than twice as likely as childless food-insecure New Yorkers to lack cooking equipment or a fridge and three times more likely to lack a stove.
- Make universal school meals permanent in New York State.
- Increase outreach for food and nutrition programs.
- Make application and recertification measures easier for public benefits programs.
- Work with federal partners to cover the costs of online grocery delivery.
- Explore ways to prevent food insecurity in the summer.
- Implement food insecurity screening and referral processes in health care settings.
- Support Food Is Medicine interventions.