Food insecurity is stigmatized, but it doesn’t affect one socioeconomic class or a particular region. It is everywhere, and anyone can experience food insecurity at any point in their life.
Who is susceptible?
The better question is, who isn’t? A family that is typically food secure may experience a period of insecurity due to a crisis situation. Those affected most frequently are seniors, children, rural communities, African Americans, and Latinos.
According to a 2017 Feeding America study, more than 5 million senior citizens currently face hunger in our country. That means 63 percent of households with an adult 65+ has to decide between groceries or medical care.
Feeding America also states counties with higher levels of poverty and unemployment have increased rates of food insecurity.
College students are also severely affected. According to a 2017 Wisconsin Hope Lab study, 14 percent of college students experience food insecurity throughout the United States.
What does it look like?
Anyone that has to decide between buying food and paying bills is considered food insecure. For example, a household is considered food insecure if they have to trade a household’s needs (i.e. mortgage/rent, utilities) to put nutritionally adequate food on the table.
Why does it happen?
Food insecurity happens when there is
a long-term lack of food security, but there is no simple explanation. The result of food insecurity can be caused by political, economic, social, and environmental aspects, i.e. poverty, conflict, barriers to trade, cultural insensitivity, or natural disaster.
Looking for support for food insecurity?
Many organizations are dedicated to feeding the hungry, and helping individuals avoid long-term food insecurity. The Center for Community Resources can help connect individuals with service providers; assuring their basic needs are met.