Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, strongly endorses a new policy statement released today by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Promoting Food Security for All Children. Food security is a term used by the USDA, which is defined as “all people in a household having enough food for an active, healthy life at all times.”
“We applaud the American Academy of Pediatrics for taking this strong stand on the urgent need to prevent any child in our nation from going hungry, and for stressing the fact that adequate nutrition for all children should be considered a public health issue,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “Every day our network of food banks and the agencies they serve see firsthand the face of hunger in America. We are acutely aware of the toll that inadequate nutrition can take on a child. Children who are malnourished, for even a brief period of time, can suffer life-long physical and cognitive impairments. Child hunger is entirely preventable in our country, where we have enough food to feed everyone in the nation.”
Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing food and groceries to 46 million people annually, including 12 million children, according to the organization’s study, Hunger in America 2014.
The AAP policy calls for pediatricians to screen all children for food insecurity and to help children and their families at risk of hunger access food-assistance programs and other community resources. The AAP also recommends that pediatricians advocate for “federal and local polices that support access to adequate healthy food.”
Among the resources listed for pediatricians is Feeding America’s Healthy Food Bank Hub, a comprehensive web site that provides a myriad of tools and resources for low-income families, health care professionals, and agencies and organizations that provide assistance to people struggling with hunger: http://healthyfoodbankhub.feedingamerica.org/.
Feeding America distributed more than 3.7 billion meals to low-income Americans last year, including a billion pounds of fresh produce. Providing healthy, nutritious food is one of our highest priorities.
Feeding America also urges Congress to pass a strong child nutrition bill that improves access to healthy food and nutrition, so that more children have the fuel they need.
“We offer thanks and praise to the American Academy of Pediatrics for making child food insecurity a focus of their mission and empowering Pediatricians to ask these critically important questions in their practices across the country,” Aviv said.
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.