When looking for solutions, choosing to focus on food insecurity, rather than hunger, moves the discussion beyond short-term food-based solutions, and closer to examining the root causes of this issue: a lack of income. This may be due to a lack of decently paid work, a lack of livable social assistant incomes, a lack of affordable housing, sky rocketing inflation and living costs, etc. A family is food insecure when they cannot afford to acquire food for themselves. No amount of food charity is going to change that. Food insecurity is an indicator of poverty. And poverty is the result of, and a catalyst for, many severe and interconnected issues that continue year after year, and generation after generation: hunger, addiction, housing insecurity, mental illness, unemployment, social isolation, and various forms of abuse. None of these issues exist in isolation.
Research has shown that…
Household food insecurity has no relation to the availability of food in the national or local food system. Household food insecurity is not necessarily a food issue, it is an income issue.
Food insecurity is tightly linked to household income. Households living in poverty will nearly always become food insecure at some point.
While food-based charity has been critical for staving off day-to-day hunger for many, it has not been shown to reduce food insecurity. (People still continue to need food charity, and keep coming back.)
The only measures that have proven to change rates of food insecurity are policies that improve the financial situation of low-income households.