In 1996, the World Health Organization defined Food Security as …
“When all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”
Unfortunately, 14.5 % of U.S. households are food insecure. And 95% of those food insecure households must seek nutrition assistance resources.
In response to the 2008 economic crisis, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Formerly known as “food stamps,” SNAP benefits assist low-income individuals and families purchase food. This program is managed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
On November 1, 2013, SNAP benefits were cut by $5 billion nationally.
It’s difficult to comprehend enormous numbers. So, let’s narrow the focus and take a local look.
There are approximately 350,000 residents in Lane County. Of those, 70,000 are SNAP recipients. This means that 1 in 5 Lane County residents just lost 6% of their nutrition assistance benefits.
There is plenty of food. In fact, food waste is an enormous issue in and of itself. And more good news, Food for Lane County has programs in place that support the 3 pillars of food security:
Here are a few examples.
Let’s avoid a hunger cliff. Connect your household, business or school with Food for Lane County to support local food security efforts.