Household Food Security in the United States in 2013

41 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2015

See all articles by Alisha Coleman-Jensen

Alisha Coleman-Jensen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Christian Gregory

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Anita Singh

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Date Written: September 1, 2014

Abstract

An estimated 85.7 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2013, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (14.3 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.6 percent with very low food security, meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. The change in food insecurity overall from the prior year (from 14.5 percent in 2012) was not statistically significant. The cumulative decline in food insecurity from 2011 (14.9 percent) to 2013 (14.3 percent) was statistically significant. The prevalence rate of very low food security was essentially unchanged from 5.7 percent in 2011 and 2012. Children and adults were food-insecure in 9.9 percent of households with children in 2013, essentially unchanged from 10.0 percent in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the typical food-secure household spent 30 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Sixty-two percent of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to the 2013 survey.

Keywords: Food security, food insecurity, food spending, food pantry, soup kitchen, emergency kitchen, material well-being, material hardship, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, Food Stamp Program, National School Lunch Program

Suggested Citation

Coleman-Jensen, Alisha and Gregory, Christian and Singh, Anita, Household Food Security in the United States in 2013 (September 1, 2014). USDA-ERS Economic Research Report Number 173. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2504067 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2504067

Alisha Coleman-Jensen (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5456 (Phone)

Christian Gregory

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

1800 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States

Anita Singh

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

3101 Park Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22302
United States

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