the extent of food insecurity based on current data. As he detailed in his background paper (Gundersen, 2013b), the extent of food insecurity is at an all-time high, with many demonstrated negative health consequences associated with food insecurity (see also Chapter 7).
Gundersen said that food insecurity is a function of economic factors, demographic factors, and participation in food assistance programs—the typical model is for households, and some models are longitudinal. He focused on economic and demographic factors, noting the impact of food assistance programs would be discussed later in the workshop (see Chapter 6). Rather than provide a comprehensive overview of extant research,2 he said he would focus on some of the findings on determinants from the first round of grants funded through the Research Program on Childhood Hunger, a program funded by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and managed by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR).3 He said that this research used a wide variety of econometric techniques and datasets and posed distinct questions. Some of the main findings regarding the determinants indicate certain categories of children are more likely to be food insecure after controlling for other factors, which include children with:
• an incarcerated parent (Wallace and Cox, 2012);
• a parent who is an immigrant (Balistreri, 2012);
• complicated household structures (Balistreri, 2012);
• a parent with disabilities (Balistreri, 2012);
• changing residences (Jacknowitz and Morrissey, 2012); and
• declines in maternal or child health (Jacknowitz and Morrissey, 2012).
He also noted the following analyses that indicate correlates of food insecurity in all households, including households with children, using cross-sectional data, such as:
• lack of financial management skills (Gundersen and Garasky, 2012);
• an American Indian head of household (Gundersen, 2008);
• at high risk of homelessness (Gundersen et al., 2003);
• no child support (Garasky and Stewart, 2007);
2Gundersen indicated that controlling for other factors—households that are more likely to be food insecure include those with lower incomes; those headed by a single parent, a non-Hispanic black, a Hispanic, or someone with less education; those with more children; and those who do not own their home. He noted that these results are consistent with previous work on food insecurity across population types.
3Gundersen and James Ziliak are the principal investigators on this grant.