Hidden Food Stress in the United States

A family sits around a table enjoying dinner. There is enough food tonight so that everyone in the household will go to bed well-fed, but the mother lies awake wondering how she will afford next week’s groceries. This experience of stress is hidden to those around her. She knows that her children need nutritious foods […]

What if… the United States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity?

What if… the Unites States decided to proactively alleviate food insecurity? Finally, after years of sluggish, uncertain growth following the Great Recession, the United States economy appears to have surged in 2015. Two recently released annual reports from the USDA on household food security and the Census Bureau on income, poverty and health insurance tell […]

20 Years of TANF: Innovations Needed to Improve Health

Twenty years ago Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law an act to “end welfare as we know it”. This act replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the current program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), thereby converting the program to a block grant and implementing stringent work requirements and […]

What If… addressing food insecurity two generations at a time

For many of us, summer conjures images of time spent with family and friends, barbeques, and picnics in the park. Unfortunately, in nearly 20% of households with children under the age of 6, food is not something taken for granted. Food insecurity or the inability of households to afford enough food for all members is […]

Keeping Science at the Center of Nutrition Policy

Every five years Congress reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act, which is designed to meet the nutritional needs of children from the prenatal period through adolescence. The Act includes the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast […]

Investing today in affordable family housing for a stronger workforce tomorrow

As a real estate developer, I know housing matters for a variety of outcomes, but continue to be surprised by how strong the impact of housing is on child health. I have learned over the years through  the work of Children’s HealthWatch, about the strong link, not just with child health but also with family […]

Food is Medicine: For best results, follow dosing instructions

Food is medicine. You have likely heard that phrase before. It reminds us that what we nourish ourselves with is as important as most medicines we might take. But what if we can’t afford enough healthful food? That’s where the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) comes in – SNAP is like a medicine, helping to […]

Baby, it’s cold outside…and inside, it isn’t much better

For many children and families across the nation, snow and cold weather signal joyous memories of missed school days to go sledding and drink hot cocoa. However, for low income and poor families, the cold signals something more serious: the impending challenge to adequately and affordably warm their homes without sacrificing other necessities, such as […]

Using data to improve the lives of children and their families

Each year the U.S. Census Bureau releases data on the state of poverty in the United States. We know that children living in poverty face increased risk of poor health and development. Understanding the landscape of poverty is important for designing policies and programs that reduce its effects. On the one hand, the recent U.S. […]

What is the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and why does it matter?

When I took my 7-month-old daughter, Beatrice, to daycare today I received an application for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the federally funded nutrition program which provides meals for children across the country in child care settings. After I glanced at the application packet and said hello to the other parents dropping […]