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The Good News
2016 October/November
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
a key ingredient for economic and job growth.
Sustained growth in housing construction and home
sales, albeit still at comparatively low levels, will
also add to employment and spending in the econ-
omy. However, due in part to continued tight labor
market conditions, the state¡¯s economic growth will
remain at a more moderate pace than earlier in the
Economic growth for the nation overall continues to
be modest. Persistent weakness in business invest-
ment and industrial production, along with subdued
gains in business formation and productivity contin-
ues to result in lackluster growth. On the positive
side, consumer spending and the labor market have
been solid. In addition, the labor market recovery
is broadening, with middle-wage industries add-
ing jobs at a faster pace and lower wage workers
seeing more wage growth. Further, although the
industrial sector is not expected to generate a boost
Economic Expansion (continued from pg3)
active, healthy living - they are food secure.
But some American households experience food
insecurity at times during the year, meaning
their access to adequate food is limited by a
lack of money and other resources.
USDA¡¯s food and nutrition assistance programs
increase food security by providing low-income
households access to food, a healthful diet, and
nutrition education. USDA monitors the extent
and severity of food insecurity in U.S. house-
holds through an annual, nationally representa-
tive survey sponsored and analyzed by USDA¡¯s
Economic Research Service (ERS).
This report presents statistics from the survey
covering households¡¯ food security, food expen-
ditures, and use of Federal food and nutrition
assistance programs in 2015.
What Did the Study Find?
The estimated percentage of U.S. households
that were food insecure in 2015 declined sig-
nificantly from 2014, to 12.7 percent, con-
tinuing a downward trend in food insecurity
from a high of 14.9 percent in 2011. The 2015
prevalence of food insecurity was still above
the 2007 prerecessionary level of 11.1 per-
cent. In 2015, the percentage of households
with food insecurity in the severe range - very
low food security - also declined significantly.
In 2015, 87.3 percent of U.S. households
were food secure throughout the year. The
remaining 12.7 percent (15.8 million house-
holds) were food insecure. Food-insecure
households (those with low and very low food
security) had difficulty at some time during
the year providing enough food for all their
members due to a lack of resources. The
decline from 2014 (14.0 percent) was statisti-
cally significant.
In 2015, 5.0 percent of U.S. households
(6.3 million households) had very low food
security, down from 5.6 percent in 2014. In
this more severe range of food insecurity, the
food intake of some household members was
reduced and normal eating patterns were dis-
rupted at times during the year due to limited
resources. This decline was also statistically
Children were food insecure at times dur-
ing the year in 7.8 percent of U.S. households
with children (3.0 million households), down
significantly from 9.4 percent in 2014. These
households were unable at times during the
year to provide adequate, nutritious food for
their children.
While children are usually shielded from the
disrupted eating patterns and reduced food
intake that characterize very low food security,
both children and adults experienced instanc-
es of very low food security in 0.7 percent
of households with children (274,000 house-
holds) in 2015. The decline from 2014 (1.1
percent) was statistically significant.
For households with incomes near or below
the Federal poverty line, households with chil-
dren headed by single women or single men,
women and men living alone, and Black and
Hispanic headed households, the rates of food
insecurity were substantially higher than the
national average.
The prevalence of food insecurity varied
considerably from State to State. Estimated
prevalence of food insecurity in 2013-15
ranged from 8.5 percent in North Dakota to
20.8 percent in Mississippi. (Data for 3 years
were combined to provide more reliable State-
level statistics.)
The typical (median) food-secure household
spent 27 percent more for food than the typi-
cal food-insecure household of the same size
and composition, including food purchased
with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pro-
gram (SNAP) benefits.
About 59 percent of food-insecure house-
holds in the survey reported that in the previ-
ous month, they had participated in one or
more of the three largest Federal nutrition as-
sistance programs (SNAP; Special Supplemen-
tal Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
Children (WIC); and National School Lunch
How Was the Study Conducted?
Data for the ERS food security reports come
from an annual survey conducted by the U.S.
Census Bureau as a supplement to the month-
ly Current Population Survey. ERS sponsors
the annual survey and compiles and analyzes
the responses. The 2015 food security sur-
vey covered 39,948 households comprising
a representative sample of the U.S. civilian
population of 125 million households. The food
security survey asked one adult respondent
per household questions about experiences
and behaviors that indicate food insecurity,
such as being unable to afford balanced
meals, cutting the size of meals because of
too little money for food, or being hungry
because of too little money for food. The food
security status of the household was assigned
based on the number of food-insecure condi-
tions reported.
ERS is a primary source of economic research
and analysis from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, providing timely information on
economic and policy issues related to agricul-
ture, food, the environment, and rural
America. (source:
to economic
growth go-
ing forward,
an end to its
downturn will
at least present
a smaller drag
on economic
Although there
are no clear
indications of
an economic
there is height-
ened uncertain-
ty related to
in Europe,
the upcoming
election, and
the stance
of monetary
Such uncertainty, especially when
combined with adverse shocks to the
economy, can lead to a pullback in
spending and investment, and on a
large enough scale, losses in jobs and
income and a subsequent decline in
revenue to the State.
A report summary from the
Economic Research Service
September 2016: Household Food
Security in the United States in
2015 - Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Mat-
thew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory,
Anita Singh
What Is the Issue?
Most U.S. households have consistent,
dependable access to enough food for
Food Insecurity Drops