Posts

Putting a price tag on childhood hunger

It’s hard to put a price tag on hunger, but a new report does just that: $2.4 billion. In 2016, that was the cost in Massachusetts alone for additional healthcare, special education, and lost work time related to food insecurity. This validates what I see regularly as a pediatrician. I’m a street doctor in Austin […]

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These are the key actions that successful anti-hunger and health care partnerships all share

Over the past several years, Health care systems and individual providers have increasingly recognized their role in identifying and addressing their patients’ food security needs. Efforts to screen for food insecurity in health care settings and facilitate successful connections to anti-hunger organizations and emergency food providers have increasingly become squarely positioned within systems of health […]

Successes, Challenges, and Considerations for Integrating Referral into Food Insecurity Screening in Pediatric Settings

Food insecurity, lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life, is associated with poor child health. Three pediatric clinics implemented a two- question food insecurity screening of 7,284 families with children younger than five years. Over one thousand (1,133, 15.6%) reported food insecurity and 630 (55.6%) were referred to a benefits […]

Emergency Department Experience with Novel Electronic Medical Record Order for Referral to Food Resources

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways”. Food insecurity is prevalent in the U.S., affecting 12.7% of the population in 2016. The impact of food insecurity can be […]

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An Overview of Food Insecurity Coding in Health Care Settings: Existing and Emerging Opportunities

Despite the increase in interest and attention to food insecurity in health care settings, available health care terminology and codes to document food insecurity and related activities are both underutilized and under-developed. Promoting and improving opportunities to document assessments and interventions related to food insecurity in electronic health records (EHRs) are critical for: Enabling documentation […]

Screening for Food Insecurity: Short-Term Alleviation and Long-Term Prevention

This AJPH editorial focuses on the importance of screening patients for food insecurity in clinical settings using the Hunger Vital Sign, and the evidence-based household-level interventions that can alleviate the condition. More specifically, we address the questions that have arisen regarding the necessity of asking both Hunger Vital Sign questions when one might suffice, whether […]

Childhood hunger in North Philadelphia more than triples

Stephanie Sakho believes that people who work should have fuller refrigerators than she does. The divorced, certified nursing assistant from Southwest Philadelphia puts in 40 hours a week. But even with her salary and a $300 monthly allotment of food stamps, there isn’t always enough to feed her 10-year-old daughter and year-old son. “I think […]

How we can help families move from hardship to health

One of the most remarkable things about pediatric medicine is the simple fact that most of the time, sick kids get better. I’ll admit – few things are as terrifying as being a new parent and having your toddler admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit for an acute asthma attack. But it’s true, […]

Kids Who Suffer Hunger In First Years Lag Behind Their Peers In School

Growing up in a hungry household in the first couple of years of life can hurt how well a child performs in school years later, according to a new study. An estimated 13.1 million children live in homes with insufficient food, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many of […]