Food preparation
Food preparation. Quast

The USDA defines food insecurity as an inability to acquire adequate food due to financial or other factors such as employment, household structure and state residence.

According to the data, 12.8% of all households experienced food insecurity over the course of the last year; however, for Hispanic households, that figure was much higher. In 2022, 20.8% of them experienced food insecurity in the U.S.

Of those Hispanic households, 7% had "very low food security," meaning that there were multiple instances throughout the year that they had disrupted eating patterns.

The study also found that food insecurity was more prevalent in cities and metropolitan areas, which is where the majority of Latinos live, according to a 2022 survey from Brookings, a nonprofit research institute. According to the study, on average, 27.1% of residents in "primary cities" are Latinos. In suburbs Latinos make up 20.2% of the overall population.

When analyzing food insecurity at a state level, the USDA culled data from 2020 to 2022, as a single year would have been skewed due to the number of states with smaller populations.

According to the survey, state-level factors such as minimum wages, housing costs and assistance programs all impact food insecurity levels. The states with the highest food insecurity rates included states with large Latino populations, such as Arizona (16.6%), Texas (15.5 %), California (10.3%), and Arkansas (9.5%).

Arkansas was also recently revealed as the state with the highest number of Latinos without internet access. According to the Latino Data Hub, a new project from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

That survey revealed that 14% of the state's Latino population did not have access to internet services.

Other than economic factors, food insecurity can be caused by limited access to nutritious foods. Throughout the country, there are several areas known as food deserts where there are a limited number of stores that sell affordable, good-quality foods. In rural areas, people in food deserts often need to drive 10-plus miles to find affordable food, according to Poverty USA, an educational initiative from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

Inflation has also had a big effect on food security. According to the USDA, in 2022, households, on average, spent 3.7 percent more on food over the course of the year.

Alleviating food insecurity is a complex issue, but Poverty USA recommends that modernizing SNAP benefits, reducing food waste and offering free school meals will have a significant impact on food security.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.