Children’s HealthWatch’s Allison Bovell, Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, and Deborah Frank submitted an article to the Massachusetts Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics outlining the risks of food insecurity and encouraging pediatricians across the state to screen for food insecurity and refer patients and their families to assistance.

Hunger is a Child Health Issue

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians screen for food insecurity using the Hunger Vital Sign during clinic visits, refer at-risk households to appropriate resources in the community, and advocate for policy changes that improve food insecurity. Many health facilities, recognizing the importance of diagnosing and treating food insecurity, have implemented the Hunger Vital Sign as routine clinical care. Some of these facilities have incorporated it into the Electronic Health Record and all now refer patients to either internal resources, such as on-site food pantries, hospital-based meal programs funded through the USDA Summer Food Service/ Child and Adult Care Food Program, hospital-based (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) SNAP and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) application assistance, or external resources, including referrals to community-based organizations.

 

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