Know Food Now Food Insecurity - What is it? Why it concerns you. | Know Food Now

Monday, April 20, 2015

Food Insecurity - What is it? Why it concerns you.

The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”

In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children.

You have to wonder how this can happen.  One reason is that many families income eligible for SNAP do not participate in benefits. Although 83% of eligible individuals are  served by the program each month (2012 latest data), 17% are not. To be clear, 1 out of 6 people go hungry  - approximately 8.3 million people in the United States. Outreach by Feeding America helps these families apply for the SNAP program.

Another reason people go hungry is the daily waste of food. The USDA estimates that on a per capita basis 1,249 calories are lost per day (2010 data).  The Natural Resources Defense Council reports that in 2012, this represented a loss of 40% of all food.  If this loss could be reduced by 15%, more than 25 million Americans could be fed.

Food insecure household are on average food insecure for 7 months during a year. Particularly for children the problem of hunger can become one of malnourishment if they don't eat food that provides the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Developmental consequences from micro nutrient deficiency an include stunted growth and mental health problems.

This concerns you from a humanitarian and political point of view.  While SNAP is reducing food insecurity for many, the question is whether the program delivers healthy, nutritionally beneficial food.
Congress is discussing the dietary guidelines for SNAP this session.

Watch this video to learn how many children are hungry right where you live.

Contact your Congressperson. Make your opinion heard.

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