From Hardship to Health: Improving food security is linked to many forms of economic stability

Food Security in Young Children Report Card Series

Recent Children’s HealthWatch research shows that many families are experiencing economic stress, resulting in multiple economic hardships. Despite challenges, some of our families who were interviewed more than once have reported decreases in the hardships they face.

This report card examines changes in food security status among 913 families who participated in the Children’s HealthWatch survey at least twice, at least six months apart (on average a 12 month interval) and who reported being food insecure in their first visit. In this sample of families facing hardship at a first visit, nearly half (48%) of the families surveyed became food secure by the second visit. Twenty-nine percent remained food insecure and another 23% reported child food insecurity – a more severe level of food insecurity-during the second visit.

In this report card, we wanted to understand more about the families whose circumstances had improved. Families who experienced improved food security over time were also more likely to report being able to afford a stable home, home energy, and prescription medicine and medical care at their subsequent visit than those who were persistently food insecure at both visits.


This report card series is made possible through generous funding from The JPB Foundation.