ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to the latest USDA report, household food insecurity in the United States in 2022 grew nationally by 31% for all individuals and 44% among children.
As a result, 44 million Americans, including 13 million children, experienced food insecurity in 2022. These large increases in food insecure individuals confirms what the Atlanta Community Food Bank, a leader in the fight against hunger, has been experiencing firsthand across its network of food pantry partners.
“SNAP is proven to help alleviate food insecurity and it is imperative that these vital programs continue. We are advocating that Congress not only protect SNAP but also increase funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) which helps food banks like ours meet the increasing need in our communities.”
“The news from the USDA is sobering. One in seven of our neighbors, and one in five of our kids, are experiencing food insecurity,” said Kyle Waide, President & CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank. “We are seeing this increased demand all across north Georgia. We are serving record numbers of neighbors across our network, with neighbor visits up more than 40% compared to the beginning of 2022. This month will be the second largest month of food distribution in our history, second only to October of 2020, which occurred during the height of the economic crisis created by the pandemic.”
The USDA news comes in the midst of deep uncertainty in the public policy and political arena. For example, the looming government shutdown could affect millions of government workers and the population in general.
In the U.S., nearly 4 in 10 people say they don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency and missing one paycheck could mean they cannot cover the cost of food and household expenses without going into debt.
“Federal nutrition programs work hand in hand with local food banks to help people access the food they need for themselves and their families. If these programs are disrupted by a government shutdown, food banks like ours will be left to fill in the gap,” said Waide.
In addition, food banks are facing a food supply crisis. Many are already struggling to meet sustained and heightened needs in communities across the country, while feeling the compounded effects of continued supply chain disruptions and increased food and transportation costs.”
A prolonged shutdown could also disrupt vital federal nutrition programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These critical programs help tens of millions of people put food on the table every month.
“Aside from the threat of a government shutdown, Congress can take action now to re-authorize the Farm Bill, which funds important anti-hunger programs such as SNAP, TEFAP, and others,” added Waide. “SNAP is proven to help alleviate food insecurity and it is imperative that these vital programs continue. We are advocating that Congress not only protect SNAP but also increase funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) which helps food banks like ours meet the increasing need in our communities.”
About Atlanta Community Food Bank
The Atlanta Community Food Bank works to end hunger with the food, people and big ideas needed to ensure our neighbors have the nourishment to lead healthy and productive lives. Far too many people in our own community experience hunger every day, including children, seniors and working families. Through more than 700 community-based, nonprofit partners in 29 counties, we help more than 525,000 people get healthy food every year. Our goal is that all hungry people across metro Atlanta and north Georgia will have access to the nutritious meals they need when they need them. It takes the power of our whole community to make that possible. In 2023, the Atlanta Community Food Bank distributed its one billionth meal. Join us at ACFB.org.