A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending and the Food Bank of Missouri finds that a wide variety of food groups face food insecurity.
Among them, a majority of the nation’s largest food groups – meat, eggs, dairy, seafood, poultry, fish, and dairy-free milk products – face significant food insecurity challenges, and nearly a third of them are food groups that are at risk for having to shut down.
These food groups include fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops.
The report finds that food insecurity is a serious problem for a number of these food groups.
More than half of the food groups experiencing food insecurity faced food insecurity rates in excess of 10 percent, and a majority had food insecurity of more than 20 percent.
The report finds the number of food insecure households has increased over the last few years, with the number increasing nearly fourfold since 2009.
Food insecurity is particularly troubling for people in the Midwest and the South.
Food insecurity is more common in those regions, as it’s the region where food is the most scarce, according to the report.
Food and Nutrition Services reports that the Midwest, the South, and the Northeast have among the highest rates of food insecurity among the food industries.
In those areas, food insecurity impacts people of all ages and income levels.
Food banks have a long history of feeding people who are in poverty, including children, seniors, and low-income people, according the report, which found that food banks serve about 17.6 million people each year, more than one in six people in Missouri.
The Center for a Livable Future reports that food distribution is the fastest-growing service for the hungry in the country, and that food is an important part of the solutions to hunger.
“Food is an essential part of people’s lives, and we’re proud to be a leader in providing food assistance to the nation,” said Michelle Nocera, the executive director of the Center on Food Policy and Priorities.
“We applaud the Food Banks of Missouri and the Missouri Food Bank Network for working to protect food insecurity, and thank them for their hard work in serving people in need.”
Food and nutrition services is the largest food assistance agency in the United States.
The food pantry is one of the largest groups serving low- and moderate-income individuals, and it provides free, low-cost meals to households and individuals, as well as meals for food banks and other non-profits.
For more information, call 636-454-1799 or visit the food pantries website.