Causes Of Food Insecurity

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According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food insecurity is “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways” (USDA, 2017). It is household-level, not based on individuals, and is defined by a significant reduction or disruption of food consumption within a 12-month period, due to the household lacking money or other resources. (USDA, 2017)
In 2016, the USDA introduced four categories of food security: “high food security”, “marginal food security”, “low food security”, and “very low food security”. Households have “high food security” when they consistently experience no difficulty or anxiety obtaining nutritionally adequate food. Households have “marginal food security” when they occasionally have trouble or anxiety obtaining nutritionally adequate food. Households have “low food security” when they have trouble or anxiety obtaining nutritionally adequate food, but eating patterns are “not substantially disrupted”. Households have “very low food security” when they frequently have trouble or anxiety obtaining nutritionally adequate food and eating patterns are “disrupted” and the amount of food consumed is reduced (USDA, 2017).
Categorization is determined by an annual national food survey “about behaviors and experiences associated with difficulty in meeting food needs” that supplements the Census Bureau of Labor Statistics’

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