Coronavirus Means School Food is Free. What if it Stayed That Way?

Originally published on Ozy.

Worry is an early symptom of what those who monitor hunger refer to as “food insecurity,” a spectrum that begins with a person’s concern that they won’t be able to buy food and extends to reduced or missed meals, or “very low food security” in the USDA parlance.

“Food insecurity, it affects the biology of a child’s development at a cellular level,” says Richard Sheward, director of innovative partnerships at Children’s HealthWatch.

Children facing two or more stressors — food insecurity and housing instability often occur in tandem — are nine times as likely to experience developmental delays or poor health as children free of those pressures, Sheward says.

“The federal nutrition programs,” Sheward says, “are really the best medicines we have.”