Result 1. All children grow up in safe, stable, and nurturing environments

Indicator 1.2. % of children 0 to 17 experiencing food insecurity


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About the Data

This indicator includes all children 0-17. Food security for a household is defined as access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life and food insecurity is defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods. Food insecure children are children living in households that experienced food insecurity at some point during the year. The child food insecurity indicator presented is sourced from the Feeding America analysis of Current Population Survey data on food-insecure households and American Community survey data on population demographics (both US Census Bureau surveys).


All quantitative data and narrative related to the data on this page was prepared by CI NOW for ReadyKidSA.

Why Is This Important?

Inadequate food intake in children is associated with a number of serious health, behavior, and cognitive deficits. Infants who experience food insecurity are more likely to have insecure attachment relationships, and to perform more poorly on tests of cognitive development. Children in food insecure households have more stomach aches, frequent headaches, and colds than children who are food secure. Higher rates of iron deficiency, chronic health conditions, and hospitalizations are reported among food insecure children. Studies show that food insecurity is associated with higher rates of behavioral problems in three-year-olds; in school-aged children, psychosocial deficits, as well as higher anxiety and depression; and, in adolescents, higher rates of depressive disorder and suicidal symptoms. Food insecure children show smaller gains in math and reading achievement between kindergarten and third grade, and, among those ages 6-11, a higher likelihood of repeating a grade. Food insecurity, when experienced in the primary grades, also has a significant effect on non-cognitive classroom measures, such as interpersonal skills, self-control, and the group of competencies (including attentiveness and persistence) termed “approaches to learning.” (Child Trends Databank, 2016)

For more information see:


POVERTY LEVEL: Bexar County, 2020

Food Insecure Children



Above 185% Poverty



At or Below 185% Poverty



Total Food Insecure Children



Source: Feeding America, 2021.

Geographic Distribution

Black Population Zips:


Hispanic Population Zips: 

White Population Zips:



Story Behind the Curve

What factors are pushing up on the data?

  • Economic Downward Trend
  • Unemployment
  • Low Wages
  • Lack Of Transportation
  • Eligibility of nutritional assistance programs
  • Affordability of childcare*
  • Lack of accessibility of food pantries
  • Shame in seeking assistance
  • Access & affordability of junk food*
  • Shorter shelf life of fresh foods*

What factors are pushing down on the data?

  • Economic recovery
  • Availability of healthy foods
  • School nutrition grants for free lunch & breakfast
  • Visibility of Nutritional Education

  • Food Bank
  • School Districts
  • Markets (food)
  • Agriculture
  • KLRN/Media Partners
  • Local Government

  • Local businesses
  • Parents/Grandparents
  • Churches
  • Pediatricians/Nutritionist
  • VIA*
  • WIC*

What Works
Evidence-based practices
  • Year round school nutrition programs
Promising practices

  • Zuber Tubers program
  • Workforce training
  • Dual generation programs
  • School based cooking programs

No cost Low cost
  • Zoning policies
  • Reduced access to junk foods z d gagagaga g aa gagagagaga
  • Better labeling

Outside the box thinking
  • Evening nutritional programs
  • Seasonal programs
  • Junk Food tax revenue to support educational access for healthy food*
  • Incentives that are tax based for healthy food providers*
  • Link by healthy foods w/transportation tickets
  • Home food delivery Meals on wheels for kids

Solutions and Strategies

Direct Service

  • To offset food insecurity during school breaks and summer, expand the "back pack" food drives occurring at schools
  • To provide access to healthy food in communities where it is not always easy to get, scale up the mobile Mercado model
  • To ensure residents who work non-traditional schedules have access - create or increase the opportunities to obtain food, expand the hours of food pantry outlets, and increase the number of locations across the city and county


  • Implement a policy change that helps offset the benefit cliff that families experience as they start to earn more - a gradual reduction in benefits would help families plan for and manage their increasing financial stability

System Change

  • Expand the income eligibility requirements for the Lonestar card to support families transitioning to self-sufficiency
  • Change the meals offered at schools so that they are healthier
  • Instead of throwing food away at the end of the day, encourage ISD's to give the food away to families in the community that are food insecure


  • Teach families how to do healthy meal planning
  • Lower the prices of healthy items on fast food restaurant menus

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