Food insecurity is a new term to me.
I had to do some research to find its meaning after I saw it used in a newspaper article. (Yes, I still read newspapers.)
Food insecurity refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. If someone is food insecure, he or she has a lack of food access based on financial and other material resources.
The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
Acceptable shorthand terms for food insecurity are “hungry, or at risk of hunger,” and “hungry, or faced the threat of hunger.”
My research shows that food insecurity is not the government’s definition of hunger. It is a broader term that captures outright hunger and the coping mechanisms that households use to avoid hunger. Food insecurity is a household situation, not an individual situation.
Food insecurity is a year-long measure since it tends to be episodic and many times cyclical.