The Food Research and Action Center has released a report, How Hungry is America-Food Hardship in the US. This report measures food hardship rates for households with and without children using data analyses of Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index Project surveys conducted in 2017. Nationally the food hardship rate for all households increased from 15.1% in 2016 to 15.7% in 2017. FRAC attributes this in part to declining wages in the first half of 2017 (despite lower unemployment), reduced subsidies in the ACA affecting the same population, and the effect of the ongoing rhetorical attack on federal nutrition assistance programs.
New York, however, shows a more positive trend in this measure. Over two years (2016-17) NY’s Food Hardship rate declined from 15.7% to 14.3%; NY ranks 25th in the nation in food hardship. New York’s investment in nutrition assistance programs like SNAP, farmers market incentive programs, poverty reduction initiatives, and increased minimum wage contributes to these findings.
However, there has not been as much success for households with children. Nationally, the food hardship rate for households with children saw an even more significant increase from 17.5% in 2016 to 18.4% in 2017. In New York, the rate is higher than national with 18.6% of households with children reporting food hardship. When compared to households without children, New York households with children is 1.5 times hungrier. New York ranked in the top 15 states with the worst ratio of food hardship among households with children compared to households without children.
How Hungry is America also provided hardship rates for metropolitan statistical area’s (MSA), New York State contains five of the nation’s 100 largest urban areas. The following shows the disparities in food hardship among them:
How Hungry is America confirms that it is crucial that we take action to decrease food hardship as we know hunger plays a profound role in health, education, early childhood development, and productivity. Research continues to show that participation in federal nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Child Nutrition Programs, such as the School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Food Care Program are practical solutions to hunger.