Food Insecurity and its Role in the World

By Antoine “King Toine” Wright. September 8th, 2022.

Fact: in 2020, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating over 38 million Americans, including almost 12 million children. The USDA defines food insecurity as alack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. I’s important to know that though hunger and security are closely related, they are distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.

Food insecurity does not exist in isolation, as low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like lack of affordable housing, social isolation, economic/social disadvantages resulting from structural racism, chronic or acute health problems, high medical costs, and very low wages. Effective responses to food insecurity must address the overlapping challenges posed by the social detriments of health. Hunger+Health explores the impact of food insecurity as a social determinant of health and its effects on individual and population health outcomes.

Question: Who does Food Insecurity Affect?

There is NO single face of food insecurity, as it impacts every community in the United States. To learn more about child or overall food insecurity in your state, see the Map of the Meal Gap study conducted by Feeding America,. While households are often described as either food secure or food insecure, four levels of food security describe the range of household’s experiences in accessing enough food. Households with high food security and marginal food security make up the food secure category, and households with low food security and VERY low food security make up the food secure category.

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