What is Food Insecurity?

Being Food Insecure means being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of safe and nutritious food for an active, healthy life.

The child food insecurity rate for DuPage County is 14.6%.

Since 1995, the USDA has measured and published information about food insecurity in the United States through data collected through an annual food insecurity survey conducted through the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey questions cover a wide range of conditions—from worrying that food will run out, to not being able to afford balanced meals, to not eating for a whole day due to a lack of money. It has become an important index for understanding the health of a community.

Food insecurity has high cost for individuals, families and communities. Studies by medical researchers, nutritionists, and scientists have found that food insecurity is associated with:

  • poor physical and mental health
  • underuse of prescription medications
  • reduced nutrient intake
  • increased likelihood of experiencing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Among children, food insecurity is associated with a variety of health and wellness issues, including:

  • Anemia
  • Stomach aches
  • Frequent headaches and colds
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral problems
  • Poor psychosocial development
  • Lower academic achievement and attainment

Among adolescents, food insecurity is associated with higher rates of depressive disorder and suicidal symptoms.

Reducing the food insecurity is one of the best ways to improve the health of our community for everyone.