Food Insecurity in Today’s World

Erin Rogorzenski, Writer

Do you think food insecurity is a problem in our society today? Many people don’t think that it is a problem, but it is. Food insecurity is a major problem in not just Connecticut but globally. Many families make too much money to be given anything by the government but don’t make enough money to provide for their whole family. 

Living in Connecticut and especially West Hartford people tend to believe that we wouldn’t have that problem because we live in a “rich” society. But that is far from the truth. In 2017 about 12.9% of all households had low food security. About 4.5% of all households in 2017 had very low food security. Hartford alone had the highest number of food insecurities in 2018 and 2020 (141,990 11.7%). People that have low/very low food security tend to have eating patterns that change, food intake that is reduced, and insufficient money or other resources for food. Connecticut has set up many resources to help out families that are struggling with providing food for their families during covid. Some examples of that are using federal emergency funds or making changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Since the summer food insecurity rates have declined because of federal income support, the decline in unemployment, and children returning to school. Even though the numbers might have decreased from what they were at the beginning of covid, they still have increased dramatically from the beginning of the decade. These numbers are still increasing today. Many people make too much money to receive anything from the government but do not make enough money to feed a whole family. Knowing this, many individuals and some companies are taking action to help those in need. For example, Citizens Bank is partnering with Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center to serve over 20,000 people monthly. 

Being in high school I have noticed that many kids do struggle with food insecurity at home. But I have also noticed that the school doesn’t really do that much to help. While interviewing Mrs. Brand I asked her if she thinks that there should be more options that help kids with food insecurity in the school system, and this is what she thought. “Yes, it’s nice that breakfast and lunch are offered and programs are put into place for students that cannot afford the typical cost of these meals.  However, this only helps the student and not their families, it also only takes care of breakfast and lunch 5 days a week.  What about dinner and the weekend?” Although kids might get breakfast and lunch free, what happens when they go home and they don’t have dinner or on the weekends when they are not given any meals. This is a major problem. 

Another thing that we had discussed was how food insecurity is not talked about at all. This is something that needs and should be discussed so kids know that it is normal and they can ask for help if they need it. This is what Mrs. Brand thought about it, “Unfortunately, we do not.  It is not currently built into our curriculum, so little time is left to cover anything outside of our curriculum.  I think it is important to educate ourselves, our students, and our community.  I believe an annual event was held many years ago revolving around food insecurity through a program called Feeding America.” Feeding America is an organization that is nationwide with more than 200 food banks that help feed millions of people. 

In conclusion, food insecurity is a major problem not only in Connecticut but globally. Even though people tend to glorify our community, many people struggle with food insecurity. The rates of the number of families that struggle increased dramatically at the beginning of covid but had dropped a little because of many reasons. Knowing this you can take action and help. There are many organizations that you can donate to try and help those in need. You can also volunteer at different places to help feed people.