How will COVID-19 reshape the fight against hunger? Urban Institute senior fellow Elaine Waxman joins Billy Shore to share her data-driven insights on food insecurity in America during the pandemic. “SNAP is our number one line of defense for food insecurity,” she explains. “One of the persistent gaps has been that even though SNAP has been a great first line of defense for food insecurity, those benefits continue to be inadequate… The biggest thing we need is Congress to increase the maximum benefit for SNAP,” she says.
Waxman also cautions about the extreme health consequences that can result from food insecurity, particularly during a pandemic. “In the U.S., we typically look at food insecurity as a social welfare problem, and it’s not. It’s a public health problem,” she remarks. “What we’ve learned from research over the years is that if you live in a food insecure household, you are more likely to experience poor health outcomes.”
Listen to one of our foremost experts on food insecurity, nutrition and health disparities explain how research and data can help improve anti-hunger programs.
Resources and Mentions:
- No Kid Hungry (nokidhungry.org): Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
- Elaine Waxman is a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Her expertise includes food insecurity, nutrition and the food assistance safety net, the social determinants of health disparities, and other issues affecting low-income families and communities. Before joining Urban, Waxman was vice president of research and nutrition at Feeding America, where she oversaw research on food insecurity, the intersection of hunger and health, and the circumstances and experiences of individuals seeking charitable food assistance. She also helped develop community-based intervention models to address the needs of low-income, food-insecure families. Waxman has coauthored numerous research and policy reports and articles in scholarly journals, including Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy, Health Affairs, Social Science Review, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, and Journal of Food Law and Policy. She holds an MPP and a PhD from the University of Chicago, where she is a lecturer.
- The Urban Institute is the trusted source for unbiased, authoritative insights that inform consequential choices about the well-being of people and places in the United States. They are a nonprofit research organization that believes decisions shaped by facts, rather than ideology, have the power to improve public policy and practice, strengthen communities, and transform people’s lives for the better. Their experts diagnose current challenges and look ahead to identify opportunities for change. Using research findings to help stakeholders craft relevant solutions and strategies that address today’s concerns and avert tomorrow’s roadblocks, they share insights in real time with influencers eager to make smarter decisions.