Children's Food Insecurity in the Summer: the Role of Clinicians and Health Providers in Connecting Children to the Summer Meals Program

Summer presents a number of challenges for vulnerable children and families – which include food insecurity for millions of children. While over 20 million school-age children receive free or reduced price lunches during the school year, only 3 million children receive nutritious meals during the summer months through the Summer Meals Program. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds this program for children under 18 years old. Food insecure children often experience poor health outcomes including higher rates of chronic diseases and a higher risk of behavioral issues. Programs such as USDA’s Summer Meals Program are critical to ensuring children receive meals during the summer months while school is not in session.

This webinar will highlight how clinicians and other healthcare providers who care for vulnerable children can play a role in addressing hunger in the summer months. Presenters will discuss food insecurity and describe how to connect children to resources such as the USDA’s Summer Meals Program and HRSA’s Community Health Center network.  Additionally, participants will learn how a community health center can serve as a place where children access meals during the summer months and also be connected to important health and social services.

Outcomes:

  1. Explain how food insecurity impacts children and vulnerable families
  2. Describe the purpose of the USDA Summer Meals Program 
  3. Identify how children can be connected to sites that serve meals    
  4. Describe the role clinicians and healthcare providers play in connecting children to summer meals
  5. Discuss the role community health centers can play in providing summer meals to children in need 

HRSA programs
LT Allen Applegate, DrPH, MPH, CPH and 
CAPT Nidhi Jain, MD, MPH
Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Regional Operations

Summer Meals: A USDA Priority
Suzie Ahn 
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Special Nutrition Programs

Children's Health and Food Insecurity: An Overview
Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS
Senior Medical Advisor and Lead Scientist, Feeding America
Director, Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program, Center for Vulnerable Populations, San Francisco General Hospital

It’s Easy to Make a Difference!  Community Health Centers Can Help Hungry Kids This Summer
Susan Levy
Native Health

Continuing Education Information: 1.0 CNE

Disclosures:  The planners, reviewers, and authors have no declared conflicts of interest

Register for this course HERE