USDA’s Household Food Security Report for 2022 Shows People Living in Food Insecure Households Increased by 10 Million to 44 Million People
In the US, 1 in 7 individuals (including 1 in 5 children) lack adequate access to food due to limited resources such as insufficient income. The SE Ohio Foodbank is troubled to learn that food insecurity was back on the rise in 2022 after the lifting of COVID-19 related benefits. These benefits created more equitable access to nutritious food for many in Southeast Ohio.
“It is sad to hear this news based on data from the USDA, but unfortunately we are not shocked,” said Valerie Addis, PR Coordinator for HAPCAP & the SE Ohio Foodbank. “Southeast Ohioans have been sharing how losing benefits have impacted their ability to feed their families over the past year. Seniors faced tough choices between purchasing medicine or buying groceries. Neighbors are fighting to help others, when they need assistance themselves. We are doing our best to support where we can.”
The SE Ohio Foodbank, along with hundreds of other Feeding America foodbanks, has been hard at work to meet the increased demand for services in the community, while also facing a decrease in the amount of nutritious food available to distribute. However, direct food distribution can only do so much in the fight against food insecurity.
For every meal a Feeding America foodbank provides, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides 9, according to data from Feeding America. The USDA reported that 55% of food insecure households had participated in one of three federal nutrition programs in the previous month: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and/or the National School Lunch Program.
Neighbors facing hunger have faced impossible choices for far too long. Rising costs with continued food supply challenges have affected everyone. Hunger is not just a statistic, it is a real challenge faced by families everyday. At the SE Ohio Foodbank, we believe that food is a basic human need and providing food and personal connection improves the overall health and well-being of our community.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that we work collaboratively with governing bodies to invest in food security programs. The USDA’s Household Food Security Report demonstrates that we must pass a strong Farm Bill that funds federal food programs and supports local agriculture. Together we have the means to end hunger for millions nationwide.