24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Nutrition
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Excess Sugar Is No Sweet Deal for Your HeartAHA News: A Healthier Frozen Treat for Hot Summer DaysIntestinal Illness Spurs Recall of Bagged Salads Sold at Walmart, AldiHealthier Meals Could Mean Fewer Strokes, Heart AttacksWhat Difference Do Calorie Counts on Menus Make?Female Athletes Shortchange Themselves on NutritionMilk Chocolate, Dairy and Fatty Foods Tied to Acne in AdultsLatest in Cancer Prevention: Move More, Ditch Beer and BaconFor Tasty Tomatoes, Either the Fridge or the Counter Is OK: StudyAHA News: Calorie Data on Menus Could Generate Significant Health, Economic BenefitsHealth Warning Labels Could Cut Soda SalesWhere Are Kids Getting the Most 'Empty Calories'?AHA News: A Nutritious Side Dish to Grill This Memorial DayAHA News: Cooking More at Home? Diverse Food Cultures Can Expand Heart-Healthy MenuEven One High-Fat Meal May Dull Your MindToo Many Sugary Sodas Might Harm Your KidneysCan Fruits, Tea Help Fend Off Alzheimer's Disease?More Evidence Sugary Drinks Harm Women's HeartsIn COVID Crisis, Nearly Half of People in Some U.S. States Are Going HungryNavigating the Grocery Store SafelyOn Some Farms, Washing Machines Give Leafy Greens a Spin -- But Is That Safe?Coffee May Do a Heart Good, as Long as It's FilteredPotato & Sausages, Cold Cuts a Bad Combo for Your BrainTips for Safe Grocery ShoppingWhich Foods Might Reduce Your Odds for Dementia?High-Fiber Diets May Lower Odds for Breast CancerMission Possible: Tips for Safe Grocery Shopping During the PandemicDon't Worry About U.S. Food Supply, FDA SaysAHA News: Is This Nature's Healthier Meat Replacement?AHA News: If You Think Before You Snack, It's Not So BadCooking Up a Storm During Coronavirus Crisis? Store Leftovers SafelyU.S. Kids, Teens Eating Better But Nutrition Gaps PersistTurning to Tofu Might Help the Heart: StudyEating Fish in Moderation During Pregnancy Benefits Fetus: StudyDon't Abandon Healthy Eating During Coronavirus PandemicFor Heart Health, Not All Plant-Based Diets Are Equal: StudyTrying the Keto Diet? Watch Out for the 'Keto Flu'How to Understand New Food LabelsWill a Jolt of Java Get Your Creative Juices Flowing?Post-Game Snacks May Undo Calorie-Burning Benefit of Kids' SportsOlive Oil Could Help Lower Your Heart Disease RiskMore Evidence That Ditching Red Meat Is Good for Your HeartUnscrambling the Egg Data: One a Day Looks OKAHA News: How Millennials' Notions on Food Are Changing the Entire SystemWant Your Kids to Eat Veggies? Both Parents Must Set ExampleBig Breakfast May Be the Most Slimming Meal of the DaySugary Sodas Wreak Havoc With Cholesterol Levels, Harming the HeartChicago's Short-Lived 'Soda Tax' Cut Consumption, Boosted Health Care FundsMealtime Choices Could Affect Your Odds for StrokeAHA News: This Meaty Jambalaya Takes the Fat Out of Fat Tuesday
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development

In COVID Crisis, Nearly Half of People in Some U.S. States Are Going Hungry

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 28th 2020

new article illustration

TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With job losses skyrocketing because of the coronavirus pandemic, hunger is a growing issue for millions of Americans, according to a new report.

Surveying more than 10,000 people across the United States late last month, researchers found that nearly 4 in 10 had too little to eat or difficulty obtaining healthy foods.

Southern states have been especially hard hit, with nearly half in some states having "food insecurity," the survey shows.

"Food insecurity was high in America before the pandemic, and it has gotten even worse," said lead researcher Kevin Fitzpatrick, a sociology professor at the University of Arkansas. "The U.S. food system is in the middle of a crisis."

Food insecurity is both uncertainty about being able to buy food when you run out and having to cut back on the size of meals, or in the most severe cases, actually skipping a whole day's worth of food, explained Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

The issue affects poor minorities far more than the white middle-class, Fitzpatrick said.

And even before COVID-19-related shutdowns left scores of Americans without paychecks, organizations that feed the needy were under pressure. Many providers were already at their limits and unable to respond to the greater demand, Fitzpatrick said.

When he and his university colleagues conducted their survey the last week of March, 38% of U.S. respondents reported moderate to high levels of food insecurity.

The greatest need was in Alabama at 48%, followed by Arkansas (47%), Tennessee (45%) and Kentucky (44%). The lowest need was in Iowa, with 1 in 4 reporting food insecurity.

"America is food insecure and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated that problem at a number of levels," Fitzpatrick said.

It's not just that food pantries and feeding programs are having difficulty meeting increased demand. Restaurants and other feeding businesses are closed and unable pick up the slack, he pointed out.

Also, the supply chain is broken, and farmers who produce food cannot find enough workers to pick and ready the food for market, Fitzpatrick added.

"We need to get better at planning for these types of crises, while at the same time making sure that the same high-risk, high-need populations are not always the ones that suffer the brunt of food insecurity," Fitzpatrick said.

"With all the food that we have available in this country, we also need to develop a supply chain from farm to table that can ensure that farmers don't lose crops and thus income, and that families don't lose vital healthy foods that sustain them during these types of crises," he added.

Waxman said she expects the hunger problem to increase before it starts getting better.

"The last time we had a huge spike was in 2008, and it only started to come down gradually, and only came to the prerecession rate in 2018 -- so that was 10 years," she said.

According to Waxman, ways to fight food insecurity include increasing access to SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) benefits, often called food stamps, and increasing the benefit itself.

Also, she said states need to fund food banks. "Some states may be doing that, but a lot of states just aren't going to have the money, which means it's heavily on the federal government to step in," Waxman said.

Right now, Waxman added, food banks are overwhelmed. "We're in a world of hurt," she said.

More information

For more on food insecurity, see Feeding America.