Grandparent Headed Households

The Lempert Report
November 23, 2022

Phil: Now, when we look at who is the most insecure, this holiday season this comes from the Posa Daily Post. Grandparent headed households are experiencing food insecurity at twice, at twice the national rate. And there's a new term I'd never heard of before called Grand Families. There's two and a half million kids that are growing up in grand families. And those are grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, or close friends, taking care of kids without the parent in their home, 25%. This was shocking to me. 25% of grandparent headed household experienced food insecurity between 2019 and 2020 twice the national rate. So tell us a little bit more about why this is such a problem. 

Sally: Yeah, Phil, so this grandfamilies, yes, this word is new, but it's something that we, that we all have seen. I know our next door neighbors, our grandparents raising a teenage boy, they've been raising him since he was born, and they're wonderful people. They are retired, however, they're older and I know that it is tough to make ends meet sometimes. So, you know, when we're looking at these almost 3 million households that where children are being raised by their grandparents, we have to think about what sort of opportunities there are for them to get deals and, and to be able to feed their kids healthy. And you know, one of the things that I recently read about was a Medicare program. There's, there's a supplemental program called Medica that will provide actual vouchers to people who are signed up for the supplemental program through Medicare that they can use to get fruits and vegetables. And they're really helping a lot of people. Now, it's not available in every state. But the key here, and you were, you were speaking about Snap earlier, is that we need to make sure that we are getting the message out to these grandparents, to these women that are raising children by themselves or any type of household that is food insecure. We need to get the message out on where these benefits are, how they can find them. 

Phil: Absolutely. And you know, it comes back to the rule that we all grew up with. You know, you want to take care of your neighbor and if you've got a neighbor that this holiday season is hungry and searching out for food, invite them over to your house, bring food to them, go volunteer at a food pantry or a food bank, donate food, donate money. We really, you know, have a significant problem that we've gotta fix. Nobody, and this isn't my words, but we've heard it a hundred times, nobody in this country should go hungry. And when kids are hungry in particular, you know, they don't learn as well. They get sicker. And especially coming out of Covid and the pandemic, this flu season is among the worst that we've seen. We have to take care of each other, and it really starts with good health and good nutrition. So we all have that responsibility, those of us in in the food world, which is all of us.