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Research on Food Insecurity Among 0-5 Year Olds
breakfast distribution

No Kid Hungry and our Center for Best Practices regularly partner with researchers and other leaders to better understand and track the impact of food insecurity on young children and their families. Here are recent highlights:

  • April, 2021: Powerful new research from the Urban Institute gives voice to the stories and experiences of parents trying to feed their young kids during COVID. An eye opening and haunting read https://www.urban.org/research/publication/stories-hardship-families-young-children-covid-19-pandemic-persists
  • November, 2020: New research from both the Urban Institute and the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution confirms what many of us have feared since the COVID pandemic began: our babies and toddlers are going hungry at alarming rates.
    • The new research from the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution, released right before Thanksgiving, finds that in the month of October nearly one in 10 parents with children ages five and younger said their children did not have enough to eat and that they did not have enough money to buy food.
    • Similarly, new research from the Urban Institute finds that 22.9 percent of parents with children under the age of six faced hunger and hardship in the previous month. This could mean they did not have enough food and/or they had to make trade-offs, like choosing cheaper, less nutritious foods for their babies instead of fruit and vegetables.

WATCH: No Kid Hungry hosts a town hall on COVID-19's impact on hunger among kids ages 0-5

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Parents of Young Children
Very young girl sitting on her mother's lap eating a meal

Parents of young children have a critical role in caring for and feeding their children. Understanding their experiences and perspectives is critical to supporting families with young children.

Early childhood is a critical period of growth, nutrition, and development, and parents have a key role to play in caring for their young children.  No Kid Hungry partnered with APCO Insight to conduct a national survey among low-income families who have children five years old and younger.  

The National Early Childhood Survey Summary Brief highlights the survey’s key findings on parents' and caregivers' experiences with hunger, participation in programs, food preparation practices and child care arrangements and preferences.   There are additional briefs from the national survey that dive deeply into particular topics:

The Why Low Income Moms of Young Children Matter two-page document further summarizes research on why mothers of children under five have a critical role to play in shaping their young children’s eating habits.