A new report from the United States Department of Agriculture released Wednesday showed that food insecurity across households nationwide rose significantly in 2022 compared to the year prior. Food insecurity among families with children also rose astoundingly.
Specifically, the report found that 12.8% of households — or 17 million households — struggled to acquire enough food last year due to a lack of resources. That is up from 13.5 million households, or 10.2%, the year before. Nearly 7 million households had very low food security, meaning “the food intake of some household members was reduced, and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because of limited resources,” the USDA said.
Close to 9% of households with children were unable at times to provide adequate and nutritious food for their children last year, compared to 6.2% of households (2.3 million households) in 2021. Children, along with adults, suffered instances of very low food security in 381,000 households with children, which is statistically significantly higher than the 0.7 percent, or 274,000 households, in 2021. “These households with very low food security among children reported that children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food,” the USDA added.
As noted by NBC News, the heightened rates of food insecurity “interrupted a yearslong trend of declining hunger in the U.S.” Older reports from food banks and the U.S. Census Bureau showed that hunger is on the rise, especially as low-income individuals “struggle to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and from the end of expanded food assistance.”