Food Insecurity Surges in the U.S., Census Data Reveals

by Ella

Newly released Census data has illuminated a concerning rise in food insecurity across the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Household Pulse Survey underscores the growing crisis, revealing that more than 26 million Americans grappled with insufficient access to food over a seven-day period.

This sobering statistic marks a sharp escalation from the previous year, with the number of food-insecure Americans surging from over 18 million in August 2021 to the alarming figure witnessed in August 2023. The two-year period has seen a distressing 45 percent increase in food insecurity nationwide.


Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, voiced his profound concern, remarking, “These numbers are shocking.” Berg further emphasized that his national anti-hunger nonprofit attributes the rising hunger rates to the reduction of crucial social safety net programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), universal school meals, and the expanded child tax credit.


Notably, the pandemic-era expansion of the child tax credit was not renewed by Congress last year. Additionally, Congress opted to terminate a federal pandemic-era initiative in September, which provided free school lunches to all public school students. Furthermore, pandemic-era SNAP benefits ceased across all 50 states in March of this year, coinciding with a 40-year high in inflation rates.


The Census survey unveiled a grim reality, with the primary reason cited for insufficient food access during the week being an inability to afford additional food purchases. Berg remarked, “No one should be shocked that when the government takes away food, as well as money to buy food, hunger increases.”


The data serves as a poignant reminder of the critical need to address food insecurity within the nation and the urgency of reinstating and enhancing vital social safety net measures to combat this growing crisis.



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