Despite rapid economic growth, the poorest households in Mongolia struggle to meet basic nutritional requirements. In 2008–09, global economic conditions and a heavy winter led to rising prices and lower incomes, exacerbating food insecurity. The government implemented a food stamp programme targeting the poorest 5 per cent of households, aiming to reduce their vulnerability to food insecurity. Drawing on an impact evaluation of the programme on food security, we find substantial positive impacts on food security. We conclude that the model was appropriate to Mongolia, and a viable long-term response to food insecurity.