Catholic Social Teaching
In 2018, an estimated 11.1 percent of United States households were food insecure at least some time during the year, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
One “bad month” can be enough to plunge a household into food insecurity. Layoffs at work, unexpected car maintenance or an accident on the job can suddenly force a family to choose between buying food and paying bills. Working families across the U.S. face countless situations that can result in food insecurity and hunger.
Food insecurity can have a wide impact, depending on each individual’s circumstances. Some of the most common effects of food insecurity
include: serious health complications, especially when people facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food and medicine or medical care; damage to a child’s ability to learn and grow; and difficult decisions for seniors, often living on fixed incomes, such as choosing between paying for food and critical health care.
Moving in and out of food insecurity simply adds more stress to a household that may already be wrestling with instability and unpredictability. World Food Day, Oct. 16, marks a day to take action against hunger. How can we work together to assist those in our local areas who experience food insecurity? How can we reduce food waste in our own homes?
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Debbie Weber, director