Recession HungerThere has been a dramatic increase in the number of households classified as “food insecure.” In 2008, 21 percent of all households with children fell into this category, the highest percentage since 1995 when yearly measurement started, and a nearly 25 percent increase from 2007. While enrollment in federal food and nutrition assistance programs is up since the start of the recent recession (e.g. Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program participation increased by 17.5 percent between July 2009 and July 2010), we have yet to see whether increased enrollment is providing families with access to sufficient nutritious food for children.

The recession has exacerbated child hunger throughout the nation and while the inclusion of child nutrition programs in the FY 2010 Continuing Resolution was critical to address their September 30th expiration, a failure to fully reauthorize child nutrition legislation before the end of this year will be detrimental to the health of America’s children. The upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition bill can play a pivotal role in ensuring that our food safety-net programs meet the growing needs of children and families.