Illinois Partnership for Childhood Nutrition Security

The purpose of the Childhood Nutrition Security Project is to foster collaboration between pediatricians, state food delivery, and family support partners to improve pediatrician food insecurity screening, referral mechanisms, and resource delivery to families. The Partnership will create and implement a collective impact plan to advance childhood nutrition in Illinois.

Little girl picking fresh strawberries
  • Recruit and convene current food system organizations, family advisor(s),and ICAAP leadership team in 2-3 meetings in the Illinois Partnership for Childhood Nutrition Security.

  • Identify the current landscape of food insecurity in Illinois.

  • Share best practices and assets that partners bring to improve healthy food access to children and families experiencing food insecurity.

  • Gain consensus on a shared systems model that identifies assets and opportunities to alleviate food insecurity. This will be informed by existing data that captures community member experience through focus groups and surveys.

  • Develop consensus on sharing relevant data, food resources, and referral networks.

  • Identify best practices to scale/trial or create solutions which will most likely impact the targeted processes and create a plan.

  • Develop and disseminate survey to ICAAP members to assess current practices and barriers to screening, implementation, and connecting patients to food systems.

  • Create awareness of food insecurity through the development of content and updates on the ICAAP website page featuring member opportunities to participate in training and collaborate in the project.

  • Develop standardized webinar training for pediatricians, residents, and medical students building upon existing education/tool resources (from the Food Research Action Center and AAP Food Insecurity Toolkit 2021). Webinar training will include universal screening for food insecurity using the validated Hunger Vital Signs, best practices for talking with families about food insecurity, and referral resources.

  • Conduct out reach to members, residency programs and medical schools and members.

  • Present trainings.

  • Implement/trial system changes prioritized by the collective impact plan.

  • Share and disseminate aggregated food resources with clinics and others across Illinois.

  • Refine the collective impact plan based on implementation and feedback from community members and partners.

Learn more about Hunger in Illinois

Check out the Food Insecurity Map from Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap study.


ICAAP Announces Participation in National Learning Collaborative to End Childhood Hunger in Illinois

ICAAP is offering updated physician education in Addressing Childhood Food Insecurity in 2023. Please contact Abby Creek if interested.

The learning objectives are:

  1. Demonstrate the importance of identifying food insecurity
  2. Develop skills to screen using hunger vital signs and discuss food insecurity with families
  3. Identify and provide food resources for families

Watch and Download the 2022 Education in Addressing Childhood Food Insecurity: Increasing Screening, Referrals, and Resources Delivery


A Toolkit for Pediatricians to Address Food Insecurity

Click here to download the toolkit

Click here to download the Pediatrician Survey Findings

FRAC Survey Image

To access resources from Bright Futures, click here.


Find Food Resources

Call the "2-1-1 Illinois” hotline for assistance.

Find local food resources throughout Illinois by visiting the Illinois Extension Food Maps

Find food throughout Chicago by visiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository

Federal Nutrition Programs


Illinois Partnership for Childhood Nutrition Security

Collaborative Meetings

Meeting #1 hosted on December 2, 2021

Click here for the meeting slides

Meeting #2 hosted on January 20, 2022

Click here for the meeting slides

Meeting #3 hosted on February 17, 2022

Click here for the meeting slides

Childhood Nutrition Security Project Partners

Government Agency

Chicago Department of Public Health
Chicago Public Schools
Cook County Health
Illinois Department of Human Services
Illinois State Board of Education
Southern 7 Health Department
SNAP Education, University of Illinois Extension
Tazewell County Health Department

Public Health
Illinois Public Health Association
Illinois Public Health Institute

Home Visiting / Daycare
Start Early
Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

Healthcare System

Healthcare System
ACCESS Community Health Network
American Heart Association
Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Erie Family Health Centers
Esperanza Health Centers
Heartland Health Services
Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois
PCC Community Wellness Center
Proviso Partners for Health: Veggie Rx
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnership

Local Food Initiative

Chicago Food Policy Action Counsel
Experimental Station
Illinois 4-H Food Security Communities
Peoria Grown

Food Bank / Pantry
Beyond Hunger
Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of Chicago Feeding Illinois
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Marillac St. Vincent Family Services Midwest Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank

ICAAP Food Security Work Group Team

Ayaan Ahmed, ICAAP MPH Intern

Wendy Burdo-Hartman, MD, FAAP, Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria

Maggie Chen, MPH, Family Advisor

Amy Christison, MD, FAAP, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of Illinois College of Medicine, Medical Director, Healthy Kids U, Children’s Hospital of Illinois

Vera Goldberg, MD, FAAP, Primary Care Pediatrician, Aunt Martha's Health & Wellness

Zohra Moeenuddin, MD, FAAP, University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria, Heartland Health Services

Alisa Seo-Lee, MD, FAAP, Cook County Health

Enas Shanshen, MD, FAAP, Pediatric Cardiologist, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Jabari Taylor, MPH, Family Advisor

Brooke Turnock, MD, FAAP, Medical Director, PCC Austin Family Health Center

Alexandra Vaughn, Family Advisor

For additional information, contact Abby Creek, Manager, Health Equity Initiatives, at