Judi Bartfeld headshot

Judi Bartfeld

Meta Schroeder Beckner Outreach Professor; Food Security Research and Policy Specialist (UW–Madison Division of Extension)
Consumer Science Department; Personal Finance Major
Office 4218

“Men and women cannot be really free until they have plenty to eat, and time and ability to read and think and talk things over.”

–Henry A. Wallace


I study the problems of hunger and food insecurity in the United States, including patterns, causes, consequences, and solutions, with a particular interest in the role of food assistance programs and policies. I also have an appointment with UW–Madison Division of Extension, where I work to make food security data and research available, understandable, and actionable to non-academics.
My work has generated significant investments to support local, state, and national research in the areas of food insecurity and food assistance programs. I also collaborate on grants that support my research on child support, child placement, and the economic well-being of divorced parents. Over the years, I have published numerous peer-reviewed articles as well as dozens of local and state policy reports on these topics. My past leadership of the RIDGE program helped to cultivate a nationwide network of junior scholars in the food security area, and was recognized with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary’s Honor Award (2014).

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PhD, Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin–Madison
BS, Psychology, Johns Hopkins University


Institute for Research on Poverty
UW–Madison Division of Extension
Center for Financial Security
Applied Population Lab

Recent press

‘Food is always last on my list’: Pantries pivot to meet demand during coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin Public Radio, June 11, 2020
Food pantries struggle to provide during COVID-19, Marketplace, March 31, 2020
We may not be able to end hunger in Wisconsin but we can reduce it. Here’s what it will take, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 24, 2019

Family Economics and Public Policy (CS 575)

Selected publications include:

Bartfeld, J., Berger, L., and Men, F. (2019). Universal access to free school meals through the Community Eligibility Provision is associated with better attendance for low-income elementary school students in Wisconsin. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (forthcoming).

Bartfeld, J., Berger, L., Men, F., and Chen, Y. (2019). Access to the School Breakfast Program is associated with higher attendance and test scores among elementary school students. Journal of Nutrition 149(2):336-343.

Bartfeld, J. and Men, F. (2017). Food insecurity among households with children: the role of the state economic and policy context. Social Service Review 91(4):691-732.

Bartfeld, J. and Collins, J.M. (2017). Food insecurity, financial shocks, and financial coping strategies among households with elementary school children in Wisconsin. Journal of Consumer Affairs 51(3): 519-548.

Bartfeld, J., Gundersen, C., Smeeding, T., and Ziliak, J. (Eds.). (2015). SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well-Being. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.

Ryu, J-H and Bartfeld, J. (2012). Household food hardships during childhood and subsequent health outcomes among children: evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort. American Journal of Public Health 102(11):e50-55.

Bartfeld,J. and Ahn, H-M. (2011). The School Breakfast Program strengthens household food security among low-Income households with elementary school children. Journal of Nutrition, 141:470-475.

Bartfeld, J. and Kim, M. (2010). Participation in the School Breakfast Program: New evidence from the ECLS-K. Social Service Review, 84(4): 541-562.

Bartfeld, J., Ryu, J-H., and Wang, L. (2010). Local characteristics are linked to household food insecurity among households with elementary school children. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 5 (4): 471-483.

Bartfeld, J. and Dunifon, R. (2006). State-level predictors of food insecurity among households with children. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 25 (4): 921-942.

Find a more comprehensive list of my publications in my CV, linked above.