About 1 in 10 Americans suffer from food insecurity. That percentage rose briefly during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still nearly unchanged in 2022, when U.S. inflation rose to its highest level in more than 40 years in the past few years. remains constant.
SNAP Benefits: Can I use my EBT card/Food Stamps to buy hot food?
Discovery: 3 ways smart people save money on their tax returns
Search: How the 2023 recession will differ from the 2008 recession and how you should prepare differently
Despite the fact that the average price of groceries rose by 11.8% in 2022, a new study conducted by two researchers at Purdue University and published on The Conversation’s website shows that people still don’t get enough food. The number of homeless households has not yet surged. In the report, researchers said food insecurity in the United States had “remained at an embarrassing but relatively flat level” even before the pandemic.
The nonprofit Feeding America said at least half of its food bank and pantry members were in high demand for their services, and many media organizations formed long lines for free food. This is true despite reports that
A Purdue University report, citing USDA data, said the country’s official food insecurity rate hovered around 10.5% from 2019 to 2021. However, other researchers have found both lower and much higher rates.
On average, in the months since the pandemic hit in March 2020, food insecurity levels across the country may have peaked at nearly 19%, according to a study conducted by Purdue. However, within about six months, food insecurity had returned to the 10% to 11% range. Since then, it has stayed close to it despite skyrocketing food prices.
how does this happen? One possible explanation is that different organizations have different ways of defining food insecurity. The USDA classifies food insecurity into his two categories:
- low food security: Reports of decreased dietary quality, variety, or desirability. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
- very low food security: Reports of multiple signs of disturbed eating patterns and reduced food intake.
However, not all government agencies and non-profit organizations define food insecurity according to these guidelines, leading to conflicting food insecurity data.
According to the Purdue report, another explanation for why food insecurity in the country has remained largely unchanged despite high inflation is government programs and non-governmental programs to help people get enough food. It means that for-profit organizations are successful. This includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a USDA food assistance program formerly known as Food Stamps.
From January to October 2022, the number of SNAP beneficiaries increased by 2.8% to reach 42.3 million at the peak of last year’s sharp inflation, Purdue’s report said. In some states, SNAP benefits remain at the high levels that began during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, survey data from Purdue’s Consumer Food Insights report shows that the average length of time households benefit from SNAP has increased from 9.5 months to 12.4 months in 2022.
“Food bank and SNAP benefits have provided nearly $130 billion in economic relief annually to low-income Americans in recent years, and that figure includes a steep increase in benefits,” Purdue said. the report said. “We believe these efforts are essential.”
Poll: Are you in favor of further easing inflation in 2023?
Explore: 13 Best Costco Foods You Should Always Stock Up On
Researchers also believe that conducting and publishing high-quality research more frequently will “bring sustained attention to the issue, highlight trends, and enable experts like us to make better predictions.” It will help us to do better,” he suggests.
Learn more about GOBankingRates