Protect children from food insecurity

Whilst adults often try to protect children from the impacts of food insecurity this is often not possible. Studies of food insecurity in other countries report that adults and children experience food insecurity similarly, including through quantitative and qualitative reduction of food, accompanying anxiety around having enough food, and social isolation and stigma from accessing food in non-conventional ways. Particularly important factors for children are certainty of food and involvement and choice in food decision-making.


What needs to be done:

  • Nuanced application of the Food Insecurity Experience Scale to children, with outcomes used to inform child-centred policies to prevent and address food insecurity.
    Research suggests that methods of monitoring which focuses only on the adult(s) in a household is not fully representative of children because children will often respond with the view of protecting their carers when asked directly by them than when asked independently.
  • Universal access to adequate, nutritional and culturally appropriate food in schools.
  • Training for primary service providers to notice food insecurity amongst children and to facilitate their carer’s access to community food hubs and income maximisation advice, as well as collating information in the Early Warning System.
  • Ensure child benefits are independently calculated by reference to the minimum needs of children and that payments are made for the benefit of all children in low income families. Exclude child benefits from any benefit cap.


Why the contribution is important

The issues:

  • Almost one third of those receiving emergency food aid are children. 64% of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one parent works.
  • Poor nutrition in childhood has a long-lasting impact in terms of health and development; this is one of the contributing factors to a persistent attainment gap between pupils living in poverty and those who do not. In particular, adequate nutrition in the first 1000 days from conception have been identified as crucial for the long term health of a child.


Please find Nourish Scotland's full response to the Fairer Scotland consultation here:



by NourishScotland on January 27, 2016 at 10:35AM

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