A pair of reports demonstrating the increased vulnerability of young black and Latino children from low-income households to developmental risk linked to food insecurity and the buffering effect that family support programs can have on young black and Latino children’s health and growth.

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The Impact of Food Insecurity on the Development of Young Low-Income Black and Latino Children & Protecting the Health and Nutrition of Young Children of Color: The Impact of Nutrition Assistance and Income Support Programs

This report has several important implications. First, food insecurity increases the odds that children will develop difficulties in important functional areas, such as cognition, language, motor skills, behavior, learning, and socioemotional development. These difficulties may, in turn, jeopardize the ability of young children of color to later succeed in school—a finding that has great significance given the achievement gap that exists between black and white students and between Latino and white students. Second, the developmental effects of food insecurity during the first few years of life may persist well into adulthood. As a result, such effects may significantly decrease the future economic opportunities of low-income black and Latino individuals who experience food insecurity during early childhood, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Lastly, this report has implications for policymaking. Federal anti-poverty programs that mitigate the impact of food insecurity could play an important role in decreasing the achievement gap, as well as ensuring the future economic well-being and productivity of low-income black and Latino children in the United States.