Over 469 thousand households in the U.S. experienced very low food security among children, a severe condition characterized by reductions in food intake due to an inability to afford enough food. But food insecurity is not simply about economic resources. There exists a paradox in which some poor households with children are food secure while some non-poor households with children are food insecure. This study moves beyond a singular focus on income and considers how the family context may protect or generate risk of food insecurity for children. The goals of the proposed project were to: 1) to provide a detailed profile of an understudied group, households with children experiencing very low food security; 2) to consider the food security paradox—households that are poor but food secure, and households that are food insecure but non-poor, and 3) to examine how family context (structure and parental time allocations) is related to food security among households with children.

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date


Discussion Paper Number

DP 2012-07