Food insecurity in the United States increased during the 2020 pandemic, particularly for families with children. Nearly 15% of them were considered food insecure by USDA. This is defined as having difficulty meeting basic food needs within a year under different circumstances. This percentage was 13.6 percent in 2019. All households saw food insecurity end its downwards trend in 2020. 10.5 percent of all U.S. households were classified as food insecure in 2020. This is the same percentage as in 2019.
The U.S. saw a decline in food insecure households, but the number of people living in these households increased from 9.8 percent in 2000 to 10.5 percent in 2020. Even more children live in food-insecure households, rising from 14.6 percent up to 16.1 percent. The USDA says that often, adults living in food-insecure households restrict food intake and try to protect children, especially younger, from any negative effects.
According to the report, food insecurity was worsened by the inability to provide school lunches and closures of businesses due to coronavirus lockdowns in 2020. However, federal and local government programs and the charitable sector were cited as having helped alleviate some of the year’s burden. The adverse effects of the coronavirus epidemic on food security were not as severe as those that occurred during the Great Depression, which was between 2008 and 2011.
The U.S. has 38 million households with children, which is around 29 percent of all households. Children themselves are around 22 percent of the 73 million residents of the United States.