Food is Medicine: Promoting Food Security in Health Care and Community Settings
Children’s HealthWatch Senior Policy Analyst – State Policy, Richard Sheward, presented an in-depth look at how The Hunger Vital Sign (a two-question food insecurity screening tool) enables community-based hunger relief organizations and health care organizations to partner and collaborate to increase their impact and address the root causes of hunger and poverty in innovative ways. A growing body of research shows that food insecurity and poverty are directly linked to one’s health. Now, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending that pediatricians screen all children for food insecurity. In a new policy statement identifying the short and long-term adverse health impacts of food insecurity, the AAP also recommends that pediatricians become familiar with and refer families to needed community resources, and advocate for federal and local policies that support access to adequate, nutritious food. This presentation described the development of this screening tool, its use in a variety of settings, and best practices for how organizations can strengthen the work they are doing to end hunger in Vermont.