Pre-Pandemic, National Food Insecurity Dropped to Lowest Level Since Great Recession

September 10, 2020 by Reece Nations
Pre-Pandemic, National Food Insecurity Dropped to Lowest Level Since Great Recession

WASHINGTON – Last year, roughly 10.5% of all U.S. households lacked access to enough food for “an active, healthy life for all household members,” according to a report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

This figure is down slightly from 2018’s national food insecurity report, which at the time indicated about 11.1% of households lacked adequate food access. While these numbers show some progress is being made in combating food insecurity nationwide, the percentage estimate of “very low food security” did not change significantly from 2018 to 2019.

Statistics for the report were collected in December 2019 and reflect the state of national food insecurity prior to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report noted. For the first time since 2007, the nationwide rate of food insecurity dropped to pre-Great Recession level.

In 2019, 6.5% of households with children were food insecure at times. This percentage was not statistically different from the figure of 7.1% from 2018.

Although national food insecurity rates for this year will not be known until at least December, engagement with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program increased from 37 million participants in March to 43 million in April, according to the USDA. This figure does not account for those who received assistance from food banks or other programs that combat hunger.

Almost 22.4 million adults indicated that their household had not had enough to eat in the past week, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly 30% of households headed by single women were food insecure at times in 2019.

Households headed by people of color also suffer from food insecurity at substantially higher rates than the national average. Black and Hispanic households reported food insecurity at a rate of 19.1% and 15.6%, respectively.

Research by the American Enterprise Institute indicated that changes in food insecurity from before COVID-19’s impact to now signified minute increases. This could be an indication that federal economic relief efforts managed to prevent “increases in severe food hardship” in many households nationwide.

Households that endured recent unemployment or employment disruptions encountered elevated levels of food insufficiency, particularly when they “did not report receiving unemployment compensation.” While the metrics show improvement, efforts to combat nationwide hunger still persist.

A+
a-
  • food insecurity
  • Research
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Agriculture

    Another Michigan Dairy Worker Has Bird Flu, the Third US Case This Year

    Another Michigan farmworker has been diagnosed with bird flu, the third human case associated with an outbreak in U.S. dairy... Read More

    Another Michigan farmworker has been diagnosed with bird flu, the third human case associated with an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows, health officials said Thursday. The dairy worker reported a cough, congestion, sore throat and watery eyes. The other two patients had only eye symptoms, health... Read More

    May 24, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Environmentalists, Others Assail Proposed Farm Bill Language on Biomass

    WASHINGTON — More than 130 groups, ranging from the Alaska Wilderness League to the Western Watersheds Project, signed on to... Read More

    WASHINGTON — More than 130 groups, ranging from the Alaska Wilderness League to the Western Watersheds Project, signed on to a letter this week opposing proposed language in the House version of the Farm Bill that would deem biomass worthy of federal clean energy tax credits.... Read More

    Dodging Deadlines Often Leads to Bad Policies: The Census of Agriculture & the Farm Bill

    Most of you have seen recent stories on European farmers organizing for better prices by blocking highways and business districts... Read More

    Most of you have seen recent stories on European farmers organizing for better prices by blocking highways and business districts with their tractors. Older farmers might remember the 1979 Tractorcade by American farmers demanding “parity,” meaning farmers should get paid the cost of production (what it costs to... Read More

    April 5, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Ag Groups Urge EPA to Issue E15 Emergency Waiver

    WASHINGTON — Several agricultural groups representing hundreds of thousands of farmers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Several agricultural groups representing hundreds of thousands of farmers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly grant the biofuel sector an emergency waiver for E15 sales. In a March 26 letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the groups contend that new and... Read More

    January 2, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Farmers Growing More Optimistic as Inflation Expectations Subside

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — America’s farmers are feeling a bit more optimistic about the year ahead due to their expectation... Read More

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — America’s farmers are feeling a bit more optimistic about the year ahead due to their expectation that inflation will continue to subside, according to a new report from Purdue University. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer is a monthly measure of... Read More

    November 2, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    Farm Bill Expected to Take Some Time, but ‘We’ll Get There,’ Policy Expert Says

    WASHINGTON — After three weeks of what even newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., concedes was a time of... Read More

    WASHINGTON — After three weeks of what even newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., concedes was a time of “tumult,” the House is once again working on legislation to fund the government, support U.S. allies abroad and, not least, pass a farm bill. At a... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top