Some 15.8 million US households are food insecure, according to a recent study by the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
Food Security “What is it?”
Definition of USDA:
“Access by all people, at all times to sufficient food to lead an active and healthy life”
The study, which notes, however, progress in combating this scourge in recent years, says that the number of children and adults who are food insecure and do not have constant access to enough food for a healthy diet, was 12.7 pc in 2015 (against 14 pc in 2014).
However, it notes that the scourge remains more widespread than it was in 2007 when it stood at 11.1 pc, just before the outbreak of the 2008 economic crisis.
According to the results of the report, the number of households facing hunger described as “very low food security” decreased from 5.6 pc in 2014 to 5 pc in 2015, or 6.3 million households.
The study, which relies on data from an annual survey of 39,948 households nationwide, indicates that children and adults suffered in 2015 from hunger within 0.7 pc of households , down 1.1 pc from the year before.
One in six Americans is hungry in the United States
The United States is the image of the world
According to the annual study of the US Department of Agriculture, which measures the state of food security in the United States, nearly 50 million Americans are indeed affected by hunger, including more than 16 million children. That’s one in six people, which is the same proportion as the world’s hungry population. And the ministry concludes that food aid is more than ever needed, while the big day of food collection took place on Saturday, May 8th. Last year, this day brought together more than 30 million kg (73 million pounds) of food.
Worse, according to the latest four-year study of Feeding America, the first national organization to fight against hunger, which controls more than 200 food banks spread across the country, the situation is worsening, since the last four years have recorded an increase of 46%. And needy households are not just those with no income, since 36% of households that use Feeding America have at least one person working (“Hunger Report 2010” figures, Feeding America, February 2010 http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-in-america-2010/hunger-report-2010.aspx)
This observation is crucial. The state of food insecurity in the United States proves that hunger is not just a matter of poor countries; all countries are concerned. Given the magnitude of these figures, there is every reason to believe that hunger will be a major political issue in rich countries as well, breaking down well-established North-South borders in the minds of public opinion.
It is all the more urgent to build an international policy for agriculture and food, which momagri has been calling out for five years!
An insignificant change in one year
The change from the 14.5% reported in 2012 is not “statistically significant”, according to the ministry, adding however that the decline from 2011 (14.9%) was larger.
USA: 15% of households “food insecure” in 2013
Nearly 15% of US households were “food insecure” in 2013.
Due to lack of financial resources, nearly 15 percent of US households were “food insecure” in 2013, according to a government report released on Wednesday.
“14.3% of US households (17.5 million households) had difficulty at some point in the year providing enough food to all of their members due to lack of resources” said the US Department of Agriculture in a report.
The US Government’s Global Food Security Strategy presents an integrated, government-wide strategy and agency-specific implementation plans as required by the 2016 Global Food Security Act (GFSA). This strategy reflects the unique skills, resources and lessons learned from US departments and agencies that contribute to global food security, as well as input from partners in the private sector, academic institutions and civil society. It charts the path that the US government must take to reach the global food security goal and set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with partners around the world.
Today, the world is closer than ever to ending hunger, undernutrition and extreme poverty around the world; however, considerable challenges and opportunities remain to be addressed, including urbanization, gender inequality, instability and conflict, the effects of a changing climate, and environmental degradation. Despite our collective progress in global food security and nutrition in recent years, an estimated 702 million people still live in conditions of extreme poverty, nearly 800 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished and that 159 million children under five are stunted. Food security is not just an economic and humanitarian problem; it is also a security issue, as increasing concentrations of poverty and famine make countries and communities vulnerable to further instability, conflict and violence.
KIDS IN AMERICA ARE HUNGRY
There is no possible excuse for children to go hungry in this country. Yet it happens – every day, in every community.
More than 13 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes. That phrase may sound mild, but it means that those families don’t regularly have enough food to eat.
1 in 6 children in the United States face hunger.
As you might imagine, hunger is a problem that most often affects low-income families. A common way we measure poverty is the federal poverty level (FPL), a number set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The federal poverty level is the minimum amount of money a family needs each year to afford the necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter and transportation.
In 2016, the federal poverty level was $24,300 for a family of four.
Tragically, a huge number of Americans fall below this line. Over 40 million people (almost 13% of all Americans) lived in poverty in 2016. Of that number, 13 million were children.
Of course, this number is a minimum. Families making twice that much are still considered low-income by most experts, and likely struggle to make ends meet.