We know that children are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, yet as a nation, we have yet to update our food system to meet the needs of this population. In 2009, Children’s Healthwatch (formerly the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP)), along with many other researchers, completed a report on the impacts of food insecurity and hunger on children’s health, growth, and development.

This report summarized this research, focusing on child hunger as a health problem, an education problem, and a workforce and job readiness problem. The study also explored the economic impact of child hunger in terms of short-term and long-term health care costs. Suggestions for how to leverage federal and Feeding America programs to prevent child hunger are provided.

This research contributed to a large body of research literature, amassed over the past two decades, that show food insecurity and hunger, together with other correlates of poverty, can dramatically alter child health and development, which has implications for the country’s economic growth and stability. Ending child hunger is an economic imperative.