Food Over Fear: Overcoming Barriers to Connect Latinx Immigrant Families to Federal Nutrition and Food Programs

This report sheds light on why many immigrant families are forgoing vital assistance from federal nutrition and food programs and lifts up recommendations aimed at ensuring that all families and individuals, regardless of immigration status, are nourished and healthy. The findings from this report are informed by a series of focus groups conducted from November 2019–January 2020, prior to the onset of COVID-19. The need to connect immigrant families to nutrition programs is arguably of even greater importance given how COVID-19 is fueling unprecedented food insecurity and ravaging communities of color and immigrant communities at disproportionately high rates due to unique barriers faced by families that include noncitizens. One of the most significant findings revealed by the focus groups’ participants was that immigrant families are forgoing federal nutrition and food programs that are essential to improving their food security, nutrition, health, and well-being; SNAP is the most often avoided.

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