Federal study: Food insecurity remains highA study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week states that while most U.S. households had consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living in 2009, a minority of households experienced food insecurity during the year.
A study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week states that while most U.S. households had consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living in 2009, a minority of households experienced food insecurity during the year.
Along with local food shelves, food and nutrition assistance programs from the USDA increased food security.
The USDA monitors the extent and severity of food insecurity each year.
Security levels remained essentially unchanged from 2008 to 2009 but the rate is the highest seen since surveys began in 1995.
Here are some more findings in the USDA report:
- In 2009, 85.3 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 14.7 percent (17.4 million households) were food insecure, essentially unchanged from 14.6 percent in 2008. Food-insecure households had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. About a third of food-insecure households (6.8 million households, or 5.7 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security, a severe range of food insecurity in which the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted due to limited resources. The prevalence of very low food security was unchanged from 2008.
- In the final 30-day period covered by the 2009 survey – from mid-November to mid-December – 3.3 percent of households had very low food security, down from 3.6 percent during the corresponding period in 2008.
- Food insecurity was more common in large cities than in rural areas and in suburbs and other outlying areas around large cities.
Fifty-seven percent of food-insecure households in the survey reported that they had participated in one or more of the three largest federal nutrition assistance programs within the past month. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program), the National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).