The nation’s federally-funded nutrition programs remain the essential bulwark against food insecurity, as well as a vital support for healthy eating and obesity prevention. Dialogue experts recommend that policymakers focus on improvements to the adequacy, operations and accessibility of existing nutrition programs. Structurally sound and growing in impact, these programs must be strengthened further to reach greater numbers of eligible people, provide sufficient benefits, and help launch the nation on a steady path toward ending hunger and improving diet and health.

 

Critical federal nutrition programs include:

 

 

Policy solutions must recognize the breadth of the population struggling with hunger. Because of the economic squeeze on families in which members work, and the volatility in employment and earnings among workers, large numbers of people have come to rely on nutrition program benefits at some point, often for relatively short periods. Over the 36 months from 2009 to 2011, 31.6% of people in the U.S. experienced at least one spell of poverty lasting two or more months.

Policy Approaches to Reducing Food Insecurity