Improving children’s health on the front lines of care
Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

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New Reports Link Hunger, Structural Racism, and Discrimination

Originally published on Nonprofit Quarterly. According to Hunger Free America’s 2018 United States Hunger Atlas, one in eight Americans, representing 12.3 percent of the population, are food insecure, meaning they are unable to afford…
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Children's HealthWatch's Public Comment on Public Charge

Dear Director Cissna: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) for “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” published on October 10, 2018. On behalf…
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Drexel research links racism and hunger

Originally posted on WHYY. New research out of Drexel University finds that racism can be a catalyst for food insecurity. Released Monday by the school’s Center for Hunger-Free Communities, the report shows that people who experienced…
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From Children's HealthWatch: From Disparities to Discrimination

Racism and discrimination are root causes of poverty and inequity in the U.S. New research from Children’s HealthWatch, From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting to the Roots of Food Insecurity in America, adds to a growing body of research…
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Food banks see impact of Trump's immigration policies

Originally published on ABC News. Families of immigrants have been reluctant to go to food banks and sign up for food stamps this year, anti-hunger advocates said, because many are afraid the federal government will use those requests for…
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Fewer Immigrant Families Are Signing Up For Federal Food Assistance

Originally published on NPR. After 10 years of consistent gains, the number of immigrant families enrolled in SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, fell by 10 percent in 2018. New, preliminary research presented this…
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Study suggests Trump is scaring immigrant families off food stamps

Originally published on Vox. After two years of Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric, fewer immigrant families are using federal food stamps — even though no formal changes have been made to the program or its eligibility rules. The…
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Immigrant families appear to be dropping out of food stamps

Originally posted on Politico. President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration rhetoric and policies may be driving low-income immigrant families away from food stamps. Immigrant households legally eligible for food-stamp benefits stopped…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families. To read our SNAP/Farm Bill 2018 Legislative Priorities, click here.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.

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