The impact of food security and how organizations and communities across the nation can improve access to affordable, healthy food was a main theme of the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Food insecurity has major ramifications on an individual’s health, causing increased rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and mental health disorders. Recent research shows that low food security is much higher among cancer survivors and their caregivers, causing greater cancer-related challenges such as decreased quality of life, depression, medication nonadherence and cancer progression. To help address this disparity, the American Cancer Society recently released a food security toolkit to assist comprehensive cancer control coalitions in their efforts to address food security among cancer survivors.

This toolkit highlights the following steps and strategies that coalitions can implement in their communities:

  • Taking action
    • Before selecting a food security strategy, coalitions should identify the key partnerships and collaborations that are available in their community. This will inform the role that the coalition will play in the initiative.
  • Food security strategies
    • Food security can be addressed in multiple ways that span the social ecological model. This toolkit provides specific, evidence-based strategies that fall into the following three categories:
      • Informational and educational strategies
      • Health care-focused strategies
      • Food access strategies
    • The role of data and evaluation
      • Data collection and evaluation strategies should be used throughout the planning and implementation cycle. This toolkit provides advice on different methods that can be used for evaluation and data collection, how data can inform strategy, and how to find an evaluation partner.