Food insecurity is a real condition that can result from hunger, it can be defined in a variety of ways:​

Image by CDC
  • You don’t know where your next meal is coming from

  • You don’t know if you have enough food to provide three meals a day for your family

  • You don’t have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food

  • You skip your dinner meal so that your children will have enough to eat

The number of people in the United States struggling with food insecurity is astounding:

  • 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger. This means that 41 million people in the United States do not have consistent access to enough nutritious food to lead  a healthy life (Feeding America).

  • 13 million children (1 in 6) in the United States face hunger (Feeding America)

  • 4,152 children ages 5 to 17 in the Utica City School District live in families at poverty income levels (US Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates - 2017)

  • 30.4% of the City of Utica’s population are determined to be at poverty level (2013-2017 American Community Survey on Poverty Status)

The impact of food insecurity includes:

  • High levels of stress, anxiety and depression caused by worry over how to afford enough food

  • Poor school performance and social interaction with peers by children who are hungry

  • An even more challenging experience for the senior population that is limited by a fixed income and faced with increased health expenses, physical limitations and complex nutritional needs

  • An increase in the consumption of high calorie foods with little nutritional value since they are more affordable. This can result in long-term health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.