Senior Policy Analyst
Young people with disabilities are likelier to be “food insecure,” or have trouble affording adequate food, than other young people, two recent studies show. These studies echo earlier findings that working-age adults with disabilities also are likelier to be food insecure. Having a family member with a disability can both raise costs and lower earnings, making it harder to meet basic needs such as food.
One study, in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, concerns children with special health needs: chronic physical, developmental, emotional, or behavioral conditions requiring extra medical and therapeutic attention, which can be expensive and time-consuming. It found:
The authors recommend raising SNAP benefits for families with children who have special needs to lower the risk of food insecurity.
The risk of food insecurity doesn’t end with childhood. Young adults with disabilities are much likelier to experience food insecurity than other young adults, a recent study in Disability and Health Journal shows. The study examined 18- to 25-year-olds using three different indicators of disability:
The authors recommend that policymakers focus on the food needs of young adults with disabilities navigating the often-difficult transition to adulthood.