Improving access to healthy, affordable foods can help prevent and reduce obesity among children and families. Yet many families do not have access to healthy affordable foods in their neighborhoods and communities. Food access is also an important component of food security, which is having consistent access to enough nutritious food for a healthy active life. In 2018, an estimated 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure, including more than 11 million children.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this number rose to the highest levels ever documented in the U.S. at 38%, with nearly 1 in 2 households with children impacted. Research in this area focuses on increasing access to healthy affordable foods through grocery stores, corner stores, restaurants, mobile food vendors, farmers’ markets, and other food outlets in low-access areas including lower-income communities in urban and rural areas.
Research & Publications See all
The Effect of Emergency Rental Assistance on Household and Child Food Hardship
Housing instability and high housing costs are important correlates of food insecurity, and are disproportionately present for Black, Latino, and single-parent households. Although the last two years witnessed the largest allocation of funding for emergency rental assistance (ERA) in U.S. history, the impact of these programs on children’s outcomes, particularly their health and nutrition, is More
The Rent Eats First: A Multi-Methods Study of Emergency Rental Assistance and Food Insecurity
Forty-six billion dollars in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) during the COVID-19 pandemic may have bolstered food budgets by alleviating housing costs, yet impacts on household food insecurity (FI) and other health outcomes are unknown. This study will investigate to what extent ERA programs led to reductions in household FI or other key improvements such More
The Charitable Food System as a Change Agent
The U.S. charitable food system can play a role in addressing social determinants of health because of its expansive reach and community connections. The article highlights (a) strategies to prioritize access to nutritious food and provide a dignified experience; (b) examples of how food pantries can be a portal to federal benefits, health care, and other More
Evaluation of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods Programs for Households Using Nutrition Guidelines for the Charitable Food System
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods programs for households are designed to provide nutritious foods at no cost to income-eligible individuals in the United States. Our aim was to evaluate the nutritional quality of the foods available from 3 USDA Foods programs for households (ie, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian More