Washington State has a breakfast problem. More specifically, Washington State has a problem when it comes to ensuring low-income children have access to breakfast year-around. In February, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released their annual School Breakfast Scorecard, which measures how many low-income students participate in the federally funded School Breakfast Program.
The latest food security data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that the food insecurity rate has continues to fall but still has not reached pre-recession levels. Nation-wide, 13.7% of households were food insecure in 2015, a significant decline from the 2014 rate of 15.4%. The number still remains above the pre-recession food insecurity rate of 12.2% in 2008.
Not always having access to the food you need or only having access to poor quality food impacts your health. Several studies have shown that living in a household with little or no access to healthy food or where it is not clear when or where your next meal will come from increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. People don’t feel good when they are hungry—period.
On February 16, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released their annual School Breakfast Scorecard, which measures how many low-income students participate in the federally funded School Breakfast Program. Nationally, school breakfast participation grew from 2014 to 2015, with 44 states increasing participation in their free and reduced-price school breakfast overall.
I just returned from San Diego where I had the chance to meet with 15 other Feeding America CEO’s for 2 ½ days. We talked about a lot of topics unique to our shared world of food banks. However we also talked at length about the lingering effects of the recession, and how growing income inequality in our country is impacting our work in so many ways.
Interested in keeping up with the latest research on hunger, but short on time? Here are short summaries of three recent articles on hunger-fighting programs.
For the first time since the start of the recession, the food insecurity rate in Western Washington is below 14%!
Since 2009, the rate fluctuated between 14.2% and 14.5%. Today, new figures* released in Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study show the percentage of food insecure individuals as 13.8% or 673,000 people. Statewide, the rate is just a little higher at 14.6%, with an additional 344,000 food insecure people.
You are probably aware of the impact food has on your health. That same connection is true for many of the people who struggle with hunger in our community. Not always having access to the food you need or only having access to poor quality food impacts your health. Two new studies continue to fill in the picture of the connection between hunger and health. They focus on two key health conditions and the impact of food security: iron deficiency in pregnant women, and chronic kidney disease.
In a four part blog series, we examine hunger in Western Washington and the impact it has on individuals, families and emergency food providers. As part of the Hunger in America Study, Food Lifeline surveyed our member agency food banks, meal programs and emergency shelters, as well as their clients, to get a comprehensive look at whose hungry, the effects of hunger, and how people cope. From raw data came real stories.