1 in 6 Hoosiers are food insecure

Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.

The USDA reported in late 2011 that 13 percent of Hoosier households were food insecure, according to a three year average.  This equates to 16 percent of all Hoosiers, or more than one million people.

An estimated 117,900 Hoosiers receive emergency food assistance each week from a food pantry, soup kitchen, or agency served by Feeding Indiana’s Hungry member food banks, according to our 2010 Hunger in America: Indiana State Report.

46 percent of Indiana’s food bank clients indicated in this report having to choose at least once in the previous 12 months between paying for food or utility bills; 36 percent chose between paying for food or paying for medicine or medical care; and 42 percent chose between buying food and paying the rent or mortgage.

Nationally, 54 percent of food bank clients have visited a food pantry monthly for at least six months or more over the past year.