The topic for this post is food insecurity, and the impacts that it has across the nation. The United States Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year”. In simpler terms, food insecurity is the state of being consistently threatened by the issue of hunger. When comparing food insecurity to food deserts though, it’s important to take into account their differences. Food deserts focus more on a certain location/area where it’s difficult to attain quality food, where food insecurity focuses more on the individual. Food deserts occur in a set place, where food insecurity can occur within any person or home.
In looking at how food insecurity affects the country, it quickly becomes clear that the nation has a serious problem. According to the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 50 million Americans live in food-insecure homes, with 16.7 million being children. But not only does the country struggle with the amount of food-insecure homes, the broad range in which they occur is an issue as well. Food insecurity exists in every county in America, from a low of 2.4% in Slope County, North Dakota, to a high of 35.2% in Holmes County, Mississippi. Furthermore, 20% or more of the child population in 37 states live in food‐insecure households without consistent access to food.
In terms of what the U.S. is doing to combat the problem, not much progress has been made. In an article from Fast Company, although there was a decrease in food insecurity in the country from 2016 to 2017, the numbers only declined from 12.3% to 11.3% percent, which nullifies the drop from meeting the statistically significant threshold. In addition, even though the numbers of those suffering from “very low food insecurity” are down in a drop from 5.7% to 4.5%, they’re still above the pre-recession level of 4.1%, which the article calls “both annually consistent and consistently awful”.
Food insecurity has become an increasingly prevalent problem in all aspects of America, without any major strides being taken to fix the issue. Through both the range and severity, it’s taken a major toll on the country. Thank you all for reading.
Paynter, Ben. “The U.S. continues to make barely any progress against food insecurity” Fast Company, 2018.
“What Is Food Insecurity?” Feeding Texas, 2018.
Raphel, Salley. “Children, Hunger, and Poverty” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Journal, 2013.