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Food Insecurity in Delaware

hunger-awareness-nocrop-300x225According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 14.3% of American households were considered to be food insecure in 2013. Food insecurity can be divided into two different categories:

  • Low food security: reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
  • Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

The 2013 National percentage of 14.3% can be broken down specifically to 8.7% households with low food security and 5.6% households with very low food security. This hunger problem is an issue that Delawareans are faced with as well. In Delaware, 12.9% of households are food insecure, with 5.1% being very low food security. To put this in a different perspective, about 1 in every 8 Delawareans has experienced food insecurity in the past year.

How Does Cooperative Extension Help?

Through federally funded programs, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), Cooperative Extension educators increase participants’ knowledge of health and wellness. One educational focus of both the EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs is to help participants develop necessary skills to use their resources wisely. Data from 2013 shows the impact that both programs have had on food and resource management for participants in Delaware:

  • 72% of EFNEP participants improved one or more food resource management skill
  • 38% of EFNEP participants ran out of food less often
  • 70% of SNAP-Ed participants improved one or more food resource management skill
  • 36% of SNAP-Ed participants ran out of food less often

How Can You Help?

R.A.I.S.E. awareness of food insecurity:

  • Recruit: Tell people about our EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs
  • Advocate: Share your knowledge and awareness with others
  • Involve Yourself: Volunteer your own time to programs, shelters, food banks, and food kitchens
  • Support: Donate resources to programs, shelters, food banks, and food kitchens
  • Educate: Become aware of hunger problems and food insecurity, generally and locally

By: Sarah Bercaw