A new USDA report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2016, reveals that 12.5% of New York households face food insecurity, meaning they lack access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. New York State’s food insecurity rate dropped from 14.1% in 2015 to 12.5% in 2016, which is a statistically significant decline. According to the USDA, nationwide in 2016, household food insecurity is at 12.3%, essentially unchanged from the prior year’s analysis.
Still, the number of New York households struggling with food insecurity — 1 in 8 — is unacceptable. Nationally, only 59 percent of food insecure people reported receiving assistance from our nation’s fundamental nutrition assistance programs. Everyone should have access to the nutrition they need to stay healthy and thrive. To ensure that, we must stay focused on delivering federal nutrition programs including SNAP, school meals and summer meals, and diligently advocate through legislative and administrative policies to protect the integrity of these programs, their expansion and improved access.