Many Americans would be surprised to hear that some of the states face prolonged food shortages and supply-chain risks.
Many disparities exist in our communities that most of us may not realize. For example, people face hunger in every district and county across the entire state of Pennsylvania.
Charitable programs alone are not able to address the hunger situation in Pennsylvania. The government and non-profit organizations need to combine efforts to combat hunger.
The food problems in Pennsylvania
According to Feeding America, more than 1.3 million Pennsylvanians experienced food insecurity in 2019.
Food insecurity health concerns include:
- Hidden hunger: This results in a lack of essential nutrients and vitamins necessary for good health.
- Physical health: Chronic health conditions relating to insufficient food supply and nutrients.
- Mental health problems: Food insecurity can increase mental stress.
The causes of food insecurity are varied and sometimes intertwined. However, some of the leading causes include:
- Lack of awareness of the resources that exist. Residents are not utilizing local, federal, and state programs.
- Getting the resource information is not always easy. People who have never used community support before may find it hard to get the information.
- The support benefits have shortcomings, such as being inadequate to cover the increasing need.
- Due to job loss, people need better access to unemployment compensation.
The food prices have changed in the recent years
Nationwide, food prices have surged nearly 10% in the last year alone. Milk, meat and poultry, fish, eggs, and grains have all seen unprecedented price increases since 2020.
Supply chain problems, rising fuel prices, and increasing labor costs have all contributed to the inflation rate.
Wages have been changing but still lagging behind the rate of inflation. If you haven't received a 10% salary increase in the past year, you've been demoted in a way. You can now afford fewer goods with the same amount of fixed income.
Expanding essential nutrition coverage programs, such as funding to support special nutrition programs for infants, children, and women, should help lower-income Pennsylvanians access food supplies amid higher inflation.
Are you worried about food security?
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