Provider resources

Health care providers can support food-insecure households by gaining awareness of food-assistance programs and helping to connect families with available resources.

We offer validated screening questions and simple, constantly updated patient information materials on free food and nutrition education resources (available in seven languages). Free technical assistance and sharing of best practice implementing screening and intervention for food insecurity.

Free food insecurity training for health care staff available from Lynn Knox, Screen & Intervene Coordinator, 503-548-7508

Childhood Food Insecurity: Health Impacts,
Screening & Intervention

Course participants will:

  • Identify the health consequences of pediatric and pre-natal food insecurity and hunger and be able to discuss at least two health consequences.
  • Use a validated food-insecurity risk question as part of intake protocol in clinical settings.
  • Integrate intervention strategies (such as food assistance outreach and education) for patients and families at risk of food insecurity.

Take the course.

1 AMA PRA Category Credits TM is awarded at completion.

Childhood Hunger: A Toolkit for Health
Care Providers

In 2010, the Childhood Hunger Coalition developed a clinic toolkit to help health providers address childhood hunger. 

The toolkit includes:

A screening & Intervention Algorithm
This algorithm helps health-care providers overcome barriers to asking risk questions about household food status, including a suggested screening question. 

Patient outreach materials
See sample printed materials designed to provide patients with information about available resources in the community.

“Need help getting food?”
Materials about food programs for distribution in clinics.

“Putting healthy food within reach”
Information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Contact to receive a free copy of the toolkit.

Frequently Asked Questions about the clinic toolkit

The screening question makes our clinic staff uncomfortable. Can our clinic use a different question?
Yes. The primary goal is to address food insecurity with patients.  Additional screening options can be found at the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.

Who can I contact for technical support related to implementing the algorithm in our clinic?
Send an email to  We will get in touch to support your clinic.

What if my patients are already signed up for these programs? 
Many communities offer programs and workshops that teach basic self-sufficiency skills, such as food resource management and basic budgeting, growing food at home and other family support programs. Contact your local Extension office to learn more about these programs:

How can I learn more about the nutrition assistance programs?
Learn more on the “Family Programs” page.


Provider comments:

“Screening & intervention was easy to add to our clinic protocols, it gives the physician valuable information for diagnosis & treatment and the Food Bank Staff (Lynn Knox), had valuable implementation suggestions”
Clinic Administrator
“I would like to get a poster to put in my room with the phone number (for food assistance). I also intent to ask more questions about food.”
– Family Practice Physician
“Thank you for the detailed information on the causes and potential results of inadequate nutrition. The strategies for assisting persons in that situation were well developed and sensitive to the situation.”
– Nursing instructor
“This information inspired me to contact staff who work with our state's Birth to Five programs to encourage them to incorporate questionnaires regarding food insecurity.”
– Teacher consultant

Healthy Food Bank Hub

Oregon Food Bank staff members joined Feeding America and other member food banks, National Dairy Council and Eat Right to launch the Healthy Food Bank Hub, a website that connects public health and hunger-relief professionals to work together on solutions to improve nutrition and reduce diet-related diseases for hungry families.

Feeding America