Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Child hunger up in U.S.; about 14 million kids eating less

With so many people losing their jobs, overall food insecurity has remained at record levels since the pandemic began. "Though food insecurity among households with children decreased from April to June, it is still far above its Great Recession peak," Lauren Bauer reports for Brookings. "In fact, new data show that an unprecedented number of children in the United States are experiencing food insecurity and did not have sufficient food as of late June."

According to U.S. Census Bureau polling data from late June, 16.5 percent of households with children said their children sometimes or often didn't eat enough within the past week befause they couldn't afford enough food. "These high rates of child food insecurity should not be confused with the even higher share of food insecure households with children (27.5 percent); these households may but do not necessarily have food insecure children because parents buffer children from deprivation if able," Bauer reports. "This means that last month, in about two-thirds of food insecure households with children, there was evidence of child food insecurity."

It's unclear how the pandemic has affected rural child hunger specifically. However, even before the pandemic, rural households were more likely to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. In 2018, 85 of the 100 counties that relied most on SNAP were rural. It's not an exact metric for hunger, but suggests that hunger is disproportionately rural.

No comments: