Opportunities to Promote Food and Nutrition Security as the Federal Public Health Emergency Ends (2023)
The federal public health emergency for COVID-19, which has been in place since early 2020, will end on May 11, 2023. It gave the federal government flexibility to waive or modify certain eligibility requirements for social safety net programs such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to assist households most affected economically by the pandemic. As a result, the emergency declaration has played a key role in increasing access to federal safety net programs during a time of great need. Ending the public health emergency will likely reduce participation in these programs among those who are eligible, worsening the major public health problems of food insecurity and poor nutrition, which disproportionately affect historically underserved populations.
In 2021, 33.8 million people in the US experienced food insecurity, and poor nutrition is a leading cause of mortality. Health care professionals can play a critical role in helping to diminish potential harm by encouraging eligible patients to participate in social safety net programs that promote food and nutrition security.
Read more on ways health care professionals can support food and nutrition security.