The public health issue of food insecurity has tremendous negative implications on the health status of both mother and child during the prenatal, pregnant, and postnatal phases of development. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food (U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research, 2022). A systematic search following PRISMA guidelines of two electronic databases, Med-Line and CINAHL, was done in March 2023. The review included research published worldwide exploring the impacts of interventions such as food supplementation, utilization of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Programme for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and increased nutrition education. All articles were independently reviewed to identify relevant studies based on the parameters included in Figure 1. After a detailed review, the final selection sample included five articles for inclusion in this systematic review. A major theme in two of the five articles reviewed was the adjustment of the USDA federal waiver program adjusted after the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Whaley et al. (2021) and Ventura et al. (2022) saw this adjustment to be beneficial for mothers and families, noting a marked increase in WIC participation and utilization. Two articles reported on the USDA federal waivers for WIC service allowances. Whaley et al. (2021) investigated the impacts of waiver allocation on WIC certification and recertification rates. Data collected in regard to this intervention suggest that waiver allocation to WIC participants increases rates of WIC recertification and extends the time they receive nutrition benefits for both themselves and their children. These results also showed high recertification rates, emphasizing the success of the federal waivers and decreased restrictions on WIC benefit provisions. There is a massive gap in knowledge of maternal food insecurity, especially since COVID-19, and there remains narrow evidence informing exemplary interventions to maximize health status of this vulnerable population. With only five relevant articles selected for inclusion, this suggests that further attention is greatly needed in the realm of maternal food security.
Peta, Nichole, "A Rapid Systematic Review of Food Insecurity Interventions and Their Effects on Maternal Health Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 501.