Department of Agriculture Study Says 1 in 7 Texas Households Lacked Reliable Access to Food in Recent Years

One in seven Texas households had limited or uncertain access to food in recent years, a new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed.

The report showed 14 percent of Texas households experienced food insecurity in 2015-17, higher than the national rate of 12 percent during the same time period. The study showed significant improvement since 2012-14, when 17.2 percent of Texas households were food-insecure.

However, Feeding Texas—formerly the Texas Food Bank Network—noted Texas still had 1.4 million food-insecure households, more than any other state except California.

“Despite claims to the contrary, hunger is still a major issue facing too many Texans,” said Celia Cole, chief executive officer of Feeding Texas.

Prevalence of severe food insecurity reported

In food-insecure households, which lack consistent access to enough food for everyone to enjoy a healthy diet, families frequently cut back on groceries to pay for lodging, utilities or medicine. Nationally, the typical food-secure household spent 23 percent more on food in 2017 than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and composition, the report noted.

In addition to tracking general food insecurity—which means at some point, a household lacked access to food to provide healthy nutrition for all its members—the USDA also registered the rate of more severe “very low” food security.

Nationally, 4.8 percent of households reported “very low” food security in 2015-17; in Texas, 5.8 percent of households fell in that category during those years. That showed marked improvement over the 6.2 percent of Texas households that experienced “very low” food security in 2012-14, but it was higher than the 5 percent average in 2005-07, prior to the period economists identified as the Great Recession.

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Source: Baptist Standard