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.

A Toolkit for Pediatricians to Address Food Insecurity

Click here to download the toolkit

Click here to download the Pediatrician Survey Findings

Resources to Find Food

Find food throughout Illinois by visiting the Illinois Extension

Find food throughout Chicago by visiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository

Bright Futures

To access resources from Bright Futures, click here.

ICAAP Childhood Nutrition Security Leadership Team

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, Primary Care Pediatrician, Aunt Martha's Health & Wellness

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

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

For additional information, contact Mary Elsner, Director, Health Equity Initiatives, at