Food Insecurity

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Food Security in America

In our class, we each had to do a presentation on a problem that was presented in David Shipler’s novel, The Working Poor. I chose to focus on food security versus food insecurity in America and how we as Americans, can help end food insecurity in our communities. The level of food insecurity in America declined between 2004 and 2005 from 11.9% to 11% and then stayed about the same until 2008. In 2008, the stocks crashed and food security plummeted with it, with 14.6% of American households as food insecure. Since 2008, the level of food security has been virtually unchanged and the government has taken no action to help shorten the gap. Therefore, it is our duty as citizens of America to help catalyze it through small community events and organizing. Food security, as defined by the USDA’s Economic Research Service is a household that has access to enough food to keep all members healthy and productive at all times. Whereas, a food insecure household is one that, is “uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.”[1] The percentage of households that are food secure in America is 85.3% leaving 14.7% of households as insecure.[2] This 14.7% can be further divided into two groups, those with low food security and those with very low food security. Those with low food security often have coping strategies for their problems: they eat less, have federal food assistance and go to food pantries. In contrast, those with very low food insecurity are insecure with hunger and one or more members of the household’s eating patterns are disturbed whether it is due to insufficient funds or lack of other resources like food pantries. Furthermore, these numbers are not just statistics—they translate to lives. There are 50.2 million people in the United States that are food insecure and of those people 17.2 million are...
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