This article explores the characteristics of food security in the context of economies in transition. These special characteristics derive from the “legacies” of socialist systems, both economy-wide ones and others specific to the agriculture and the food sector. Food insecurity in transition countries is considered predominantly “transitory”, while social safety nets dating back to the socialist years provide some cushion. Market failures and other institutional constraints are prevalent, inhibiting the process towards improvement of the food security situation. Conflict takes a heavy toll in terms of hunger and malnutrition in economies in transition and macro level factors are at work to determine food security outcomes. At the same time, socialist legacies determine differences in food security outcomes between transition and developing countries beyond what would be explained by income differences.