New data released from the Food Research and Action Center shows there is widespread struggle in every state when it comes to families being able to afford enough food.
The recession has meant that high numbers of all types of households have been struggling to purchase adequate food, but households with children suffered extraordinarily high rates, according to a new national report released this week.
In surveys running for five years through 2012, nearly one in four households with children said they couldn't consistently afford food, even as the House Majority Leadership is proposing to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by a staggering $40 billion.
Food Hardship 2008-2012: Geography and Household Structure, released by the Food Research and Action Center, found that in surveys from 2008-2012, 26.5 percent of households with children in Indiana said there were times in the prior year when they did not have enough money to buy food that they needed for themselves or their family. 17 percent of households without children Indiana said they faced the same struggle.
Indiana is ranked 16th worst in the nation in both categories.
"Given the economic struggles that continue to persist in Indiana, we urge our
Hoosier delegation in Congress to reject cuts to SNAP," said Emily Weikert
Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana's Hungry. "Food hardship is
far too high for all households in Indiana, and the situation for households
with children is far worse. Our Members of Congress need to act on what's going
to help, not hurt struggling families here, and the first step is to pass a
Farm Bill that doesn't cut SNAP."
This report is consistent with data released by the federal government this month which show how many Americans continue to struggle.
Food insecurity data,
released by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA), show that 13.5 of households in Indiana struggled with hunger during
the 2010 to 2012 period. (Those data are not broken down by households with and
without children.) And poverty data released yesterday by the U.S. Census
Bureau showed Indiana's incomes trailed the U.S. average in 2012 by 9 percent,
the 12th year in a row Hoosiers' earnings have lagged behind the average
"What these data tell us is that there's a new reality for too many Hoosiers. Hunger and poverty rates spiked at the beginning of the recession and have stayed high ever since," said Bryant. "And the food hardship data reveal the extraordinary frequency of that struggle for households with children who say they can't afford enough food. Cutting SNAP would worsen an already terrible situation."
The FRAC analysis examines food hardship rates, the inability to afford enough food, for households with and without children.
Data is available for the nation, every state and region, and 100 of the country's largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, including Indianapolis-Carmel, and the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago MSAs which contain portions of Indiana.
Findings for childhood food hardship for surveys from 2008-2012 in these MSAs include:
For the Chicago MSA, the food hardship rate for households with children was 21.8 percent for households with children (60th in the nation), and 13.6 percent for households without children (68th in the nation).
Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Public File Contact: