[Excerpt of article by Nancy Trout, MD, MPH]
For more than two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastating loss along with political, economic and social disruption to our nation. While we no longer see televised images of snaking lines of cars containing food insecure families lined up for assistance, food and nutrition insecurity rates remain high. As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, we must look for opportunities to change structures and policies to promote food justice. Access to nutritious food must be viewed as a fundamental human right.
Food insecurity particularly affects children and interferes with their ability to learn and grow. Most children in low-income families do not meet the USDA dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption, and many such families do not have easy or dependable access to these foods, making food insecurity a major healthcare risk. The DataHaven Community Index for the North Hartford Promise Zone (NHPZ) showed that 45% of respondents reported food insecurity, and only 36% reported availability of affordable, high-quality fruits and vegetables.