Nearly 25% of American adults are food insecure, up about 5% year-on-year due to the double whammy of high inflation and the financial crisis. Advantages of a Pandemic Pressing more households, according to new data study.
food insecurity indicates Someone may not have enough food for a nutritious diet and may skip meals or eat less. However, these strategies can affect a person’s health and well-being. says the expert.
Growing food insecurity means more households have trouble paying Their typical bill amid a 20% jump in grocery costs and a 13% rise in rent in two years. Inflation surged to a 40-year high last year when some pandemic-related gains ended, heightening financial stress for many, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
“Food insecurity can be a canary in a coal mine for people in very difficult situations and unable to meet their household needs,” Urban Institute told CBS MoneyWatch.
“This is a family economic situation where people do not have enough resources to ensure that their families have enough food to lead an active or healthy life,” she added.
Based on a survey of nearly 8,000 adults last December, the study found that about 1 in 6 adults relied on charity food, such as free groceries and meals, last year. rice field. By comparison, in her 2019 pre-pandemic, the study notes that about 1 in 8 adults depended on her food charity.
Even though more Americans are finding jobs and the labor market remains strong, wages have not kept up with inflation and households’ purchasing power is declining. And according to the latest data available, food stamp enrollment remains high, with 42.6 million people receiving benefits as of December, about 15% more than before the pandemic. .
Nearly two-thirds of adults say their grocery costs have increased significantly in the last year, with more Americans feeling the effects of higher gas prices, rent, childcare and health insurance. It turned out to be higher than the percentage.
Studies have found that adults who experience a significant increase in food costs are about twice as likely to be food insecure than other adults.
Food-insecure households “can face very difficult decisions about whether they can pay rent and food or life-saving medicine and food,” Martinchek said.
Beyond those who are food insecure, about 10% of Americans worry about their ability to pay for food, she added.
These people are “the ones who feel that there is just one more emergency that can meet their food needs,” she noted.
Food insecurity could worsen in 2023 due to the impact of cuts to food stamp programs in more than 30 states, she added. cut food stamp benefits In March, the Pandemic Program ended to provide more funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The policy change could address relatively high levels of food insecurity in the United States, Martinchek noted. Reviving programs such as free universal school meals and an expanded child tax credit will help provide families with more resources to feed themselves and their children, she said. .