A report released last month and available on Feeding America details the rise of food insecurity in the country. Feeding America is the nation’s largest network of more than 200 food banks and the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States. Each year, Feeding America secures and distributes more than 2.6 billion pounds of food and grocery products to 61,000 agencies nationwide.
Simply put, food insecurity is US Dept of Agriculture’s measurement of the lack of access at times to “enough food for active, healthy life for all household members, or limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.” So along with simply not always having enough food to feed your family it could also take into consideration people who live in ‘food deserts‘ – areas dominated by convenience stores and without access to fresh or healthy foods.
Some of the report’s (which is available here) other findings include:
37 million different people used food banks last year, and increase of 46% from 2005
1 in 50 Americans receive emergency food in any given week, a 27% increase from 2005
36% of all households receiving food assistance include an employed member of the household
39% of households receiving food assistance had to chose to between paying food or rent or mortgage in the previous year.
Given our own findings in our recently released Self-Sufficiency Report these results are not surprising but no less upsetting. There is plenty more information available and they have a very nifty blog where you can read more about the faces of hunger and see who is really hungry in America.