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Complete Health Indicator Report of Food Insecurity

Definition

Food insecurity refers to the USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household's need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Numerator

Estimated number of persons living in food-insecure households

Denominator

Number of persons in population

Why Is This Important?

Inconsistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can have a negative impact on the health of individuals of all ages. In the US, adults in food insecure households are much more likely than food secure adults to have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children because they are more vulnerable to potential long-term consequences for their future physical and mental health and academic achievement.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce household food insecurity and in doing so reduce hunger

U.S. Target: 6.0 percent

How Are We Doing?

The USDA estimates that in 2020, about 657,320 people, including 175,830 children, in New Jersey were food insecure. That means 7.4% of individuals and 9.0% of children live in homes without consistent access to adequate food for everyone to live healthy, active lives. Seventeen percent of Blacks and Hispanics in New Jersey are food insecure. The food insecurity rate among all New Jersey residents as well as among children decreased between 2011 and 2020. In 2020, six New Jersey counties had a rate above the US rate (11.8%) for persons of all ages and eight New Jersey counties surpassed the national rate of 16.1% for children. The highest rate among children and among all ages was in Atlantic County in 2020.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

New Jersey had the 7th lowest overall and 3rd lowest child food insecurity rates among U.S. states in 2020.

What Is Being Done?

The [https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/njsnap/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] (SNAP) and the [https://nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/ Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children] (WIC) play a critical role in helping low-income families break out of the cycle of hunger and diet-related disease. Both programs augment households' food budgets, allowing them to purchase more healthful foods, and provide nutrition education to participants. The [https://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/fn/ New Jersey Department of Agriculture] also administers several food distribution programs and child and adult nutrition programs.

Available Services

NJ Department of Agriculture, [https://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/fn/ Food and Nutrition Programs] NJ Department of Human Services, [https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dfd/programs/njsnap/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] (NJ SNAP) NJ Department of Health, [https://nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/ Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children] (WIC)

Health Program Information

Food insecurity is based on a series of questions on the U.S. Current Population Survey called the "Core Food Security Module." The module asks about a variety of food security conditions (e.g., worried food would run out, could not afford balanced meal, did not eat for a whole day because they could not afford enough food, etc.). Food insecurity was measured by the number of food insecure conditions experienced in the household and the frequency with which each condition was experienced in that household. "Food Insecurity" includes households with low and very low food security. For more information, visit the USDA Economic Research Service, [https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-security-in-the-united-states.aspx Food Security in the United States] web page.

Data Tables


Food Insecurity Rate by Year, All Persons, New Jersey and the U.S., 2010-2020

US/NJYearPercentage in Food Insecure HouseholdsNumer- ator
Record Count: 18
US201415.4%48,135,000
US201513.4%42,238,000
US201612.9%41,204,000
US201712.5%40,044,000
US201811.5%37,227,000
US201910.9%35,207,000
US202011.8%38,287,000
NJ201013.5%1,190,130
NJ201114.0%1,230,690
NJ201213.0%1,151,890
NJ201312.4%1,101,750
NJ201411.8%1,051,880
NJ201510.8%971,920
NJ201610.3%919,030
NJ20179.6%865,900
NJ20188.7%774,860
NJ20198.6%762,530
NJ20207.4%657,320

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. [http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america].


Food Insecurity Rate by Year, Children Under Age 18 Years, New Jersey and the U.S., 2010-2020

US/NJYearPercentage in Food Insecure HouseholdsNumer- ator
Record Count: 22
US201021.6%16,208,000
US201122.4%16,658,000
US201221.6%15,898,000
US201321.4%15,772,000
US201420.9%15,323,000
US201517.9%13,118,000
US201617.5%12,938,000
US201717.0%12,540,000
US201815.2%11,174,000
US201914.6%10,732,000
US202016.1%11,722,000
NJ201018.6%380,170
NJ201119.0%383,020
NJ201218.5%375,240
NJ201318.3%374,350
NJ201416.8%338,690
NJ201514.9%298,010
NJ201613.5%268,080
NJ201713.2%260,340
NJ201811.3%219,760
NJ20199.9%192,580
NJ20209.0%175,830

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. [http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america].


Food Insecurity Rate by Race/Ethnicity, All Ages, New Jersey, 2020

Race/EthnicityPercentage in Food Insecure Households
Record Count: 6
White3.0%
Black17.0%
Hispanic17.0%
Asian**
New Jersey7.4%
United States11.8%

Data Notes

Data for White do not include Hispanics, data for Black include Hispanics and non-Hispanics, and Hispanic ethnicity includes persons of any race. **Data for Asians not available.

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. [http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america].


Food Insecurity Rate by County, All Persons, New Jersey, 2020

CountyPercentage in Food Insecure HouseholdsNumer- ator
Record Count: 23
Atlantic15.1%39,960
Bergen7.9%73,880
Burlington7.1%31,810
Camden10.9%54,990
Cape May12.5%11,560
Cumberland12.1%18,190
Essex12.3%98,170
Gloucester8.2%23,800
Hudson12.2%82,200
Hunterdon5.5%6,880
Mercer8.3%30,490
Middlesex8.4%68,900
Monmouth7.8%48,120
Morris6.4%31,610
Ocean9.8%58,910
Passaic12.0%60,520
Salem11.7%7,370
Somerset5.7%18,880
Sussex7.6%10,680
Union8.3%46,060
Warren8.9%9,400
New Jersey7.4%657,320
United States11.8%38,287,000

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. [http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america].


Food Insecurity Rate by County, Children Under Age 18 Years, New Jersey, 2020

CountyPercentage in Food Insecure HouseholdsNumer- ator
Record Count: 23
Atlantic24.3%13,680
Bergen7.6%14,940
Burlington9.7%9,060
Camden16.6%19,100
Cape May17.1%2,780
Cumberland20.5%7,380
Essex22.1%41,980
Gloucester9.3%5,910
Hudson18.2%24,940
Hunterdon1.9%450
Mercer11.9%9,380
Middlesex10.2%18,360
Monmouth7.0%9,170
Morris4.0%4,160
Ocean11.9%17,260
Passaic19.0%22,770
Salem17.6%2,380
Somerset4.6%3,340
Sussex7.3%2,040
Union13.4%17,500
Warren9.1%1,890
New Jersey9.0%175,830
United States16.1%11,722,000

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. [http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america].

References and Community Resources

USDA, [https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/ Food Security in the U.S.] [http://map.feedingamerica.org/ Map of Food Insecurity in The United States]. *Gundersen, C., Strayer, M., Dewey, A., Hake, M., & Engelhard, E. (2022). ''Map the Meal Gap 2022: An Analysis of County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2020.'' Feeding America. *Gundersen, C., M. Strayer, A. Dewey, M. Hake, & E. Engelhard. ''Map the Meal Gap 2021: An Analysis of County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2019.'' Feeding America, 2021. *Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, E. Engelhard, M. Strayer & L. Lapinski. ''Map the Meal Gap 2020: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2018.'' Feeding America, 2020. *Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, M. Kato, A. Crumbaugh & M. Strayer. ''Map the Meal Gap 2019: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2017.'' Feeding America, 2019. *Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, A. Crumbaugh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. ''Map the Meal Gap 2018: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2016.'' Feeding America, 2018. *Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, A. Crumbaugh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. ''Map the Meal Gap 2017: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2015.'' Feeding America, 2017. *Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, A. Crumbaugh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. ''Map the Meal Gap 2016: Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level.'' Feeding America, 2016. *Gundersen, C., A. Satoh, A. Dewey, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. ''Map the Meal Gap 2015: Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level.'' Feeding America, 2015. *Gundersen, C., E. Engelhard, A. Satoh, & E. Waxman. ''Map the Meal Gap 2014: Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level.'' Feeding America, 2014. *Gundersen, C., E. Waxman, E. Engelhard, A. Satoh, & N. Chawla. ''Map the Meal Gap 2013: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level.'' Feeding America, 2013. *Gundersen, C., Waxman, E., Engelhard, E., Del Vecchio, T., Satoh, A. & Lopez-Betanzos, A. ''Map the Meal Gap 2012: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level.'' Feeding America, 2012. [[br]] New Jersey Department of Health, [https://nj.gov/health/nutrition/ Nutrition and Fitness]

Page Content Updated On 11/03/2022, Published on 11/03/2022
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