USDA Report Ranks Ohio 8th in Percentage of Food Insecure Households

The United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service releases an annual report, "USDA's Household Food Security in the United States".  This report quantifies the number of households in the nation and by state that are food insecure.  The USDA defines food security and food insecurity as follows:

Food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum:

  • The ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods.
  • Assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (that is, without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies).

Food insecurity is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.

The report surveys 50,000 U.S. households each December and releases the report in November of the following year.  The report for Ohio shows a dramatic increase in the number of households that are food insecure from 13.3% to 14.8%, an additional 71,000 households since the 2009 report was released.  Ohio is now tied for eighth in the nation for the highest rate of food insecurity in the U.S.  Although 1.5% does not seem like a large increase, it is important to note that nationally the rate of food insecure households has remained unchanged. 

You can download a pdf of the full report from the USDA's website.