Food security status of households in Appalachian Ohio with children in Head Start
This study measured food security and hunger of households involved in Head Start in a rural Appalachian county and assessed factors that could affect food security and hunger. A convenience sample of households with children enrolled in the Head Start program in Athens County, Ohio, were sampled (n=710), with adults from 297 (42%) households responding. The survey instrument included the 18-question US Household Food Security Survey Module for measuring hunger and food insecurity. Of those responding, 152 households (51.2%) were food secure and 145 (48.8%) were food insecure. Ninety (30.3%) had experienced hunger in the previous 12 months, and 41 (13.8%) households were classified as food insecure with childhood hunger. Hunger was related to a variety of household characteristics and associated with several factors, including participation in food banks, dependence on family members and friends outside of the household for food, lacking reliable transportation, and not having a garden.