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Food Insecurity

Why is this important?

The food insecurity policy area contains data on people’s ability to access affordable and healthful food, a vital component of economic productivity and public health. People have food insecurity when they cannot reliably access affordable and nutritious food on a regular basis. Such families must often make choices between buying food and paying for rent, utilities, and healthcare. On a neighborhood level, lack of access to healthy and affordable food can lead to high rates of conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Policies to address food insecurity are created at many different levels of government and in the private sector. The federal government addresses food insecurity through programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while local school districts help feed food-insecure students by choosing to participate in the National School Lunch Program. Private grocery stores and food providers affect food access when they select store locations and what types of food they will provide.

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