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Addressing Food Insecurity Among Young Children During the Pandemic: Innovations from Vermont and Washington State

April 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A safe, stable, and food-secure home and neighborhood environment is important for everyone’s well-being but is especially crucial for the healthy development of young children. There is significant data and evidence demonstrating that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted this stability for many young families, exacerbating existing social inequities as seen by a skyrocketing prevalence of hunger, homelessness, unemployment, health care inaccessibility, education interruptions, mental illness, and domestic violence.

Childhood hunger, in particular, has reached startling levels. According to a report from Feeding America on the impacts of COVID-19 on food insecurity, an estimated 17 million children across the nation could go without enough to eat this year. This webinar, made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will explore practical strategies to assess and address hunger needs faced by families during the pandemic and beyond, including leveraging early childhood systems and the Help Me Grow system model to address child food insecurity. It will highlight innovative solutions used in Vermont and Washington State, with examples from federal, state, and community-level resources. It is the first in a three-part webinar series focusing on opportunities for early childhood and Medicaid programs to better support families with young children in the current and post-pandemic environment.