Did you know that there are more than 2.5 million children in the U.S. are growing up in ‘grandfamilies’ (sometimes called kinship families)? In other words, many children are being raised by grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends. While research shows that grandfamilies are the best option for children who can’t be raised by their parents, 25% of all grandparent-headed households experience food insecurity. That’s more than twice the national rate.
In fact, the 2022 State of Grandfamilies Report – Together at the Table: Supporting the Nutrition, Health, and Well-Being of Grandfamilies — documents that food insecurity for grandparent-headed households is more than 60% higher than for all other households with children. Karen Gillespie, executive director of the Generations Together organization says, ““Food insecurity is real. It impacts grandfamilies in different ways. The lack of food is scary—to think that you may not have enough food is a stress factor for kinship caregivers when they are already under a lot of stress.”
Food insecurity is measured at the household level and refers to an economic and social condition of having limited or uncertain access to adequate food. It means that a household does not have the resources they need to consistently provide enough food for all members of the household to live an active, healthy life.
This condition can negatively affect a child’s ability to learn and grow. Many diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity, have been associated with food insecurity. Research indicates that it can impact health outcomes, including underuse of prescribed medications, more hospitalizations, higher health care utilization, and increased health care costs.
Maybe we can help. This holiday season, while making our holiday lists, why not remember a low-income grandfamilies you know by giving a market gift card or food items to be of service?
If you know grandfamilies struggling with other issues, such as alcohol, drug, and/or mental health disorders, L.A. CADA provides treatment and housing. Call us at (562) 906-2676.