The impact of the recession on hunger and food insecurity in Utah has been devastating. We can see that a record number of Utahns (pdf) utilized Food Stamps during the recession. While Food Stamp usage has declined since 2013, the number of participating households has leveled out at about 90,000, far above pre-recession levels of 57,000 households.
Although USDA data indicate that Utah’s rate of food security is on par with or higher than the national average, most federal nutrition programs are still woefully underutilized in Utah. The most recent USDA data indicates that about a quarter of Utah households eligible for Food Stamps do not use the program. Utahns leave over $180 million in unclaimed Food Stamp benefits on the table every year, or roughly three times the annual output of the Utah Food Bank. Utah also ranks very low in our utilization of school lunch programs, and last in the country in our rate of school breakfast participation among impoverished children.
From National Partners
Food Research and Action Center
Center on Budget Policy and Priorities
- Map the Meal Gap – Provides information about local food insecurity and child hunger down to the county level.
- Hunger in America 2014 – Hunger in America is a series of quadrennial studies that provide comprehensive demographic profiles of people seeking food assistance through the charitable sector and an in-depth analysis of the partner agencies in the Feeding America network that provide this assistance. It is the largest study of its kind. The data collected through the Hunger in America studies help guide the development of programs and solutions that improve food security for individuals and their households and inform public policy and support for solving hunger in America.
- Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on our Nation – A report on research on the impact of food insecurity and hunger on child health, growth and development. (includes an Executive Summary (which includes definitions of key terms))
- Food Insecurity & Hunger in the U.S. – Children’s HealthWatch and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) publish a tri-annual newsletter about new research on nutrition and food insecurity in the United States. It summarizes recent and important food insecurity and hunger research from academia, government agencies, think tanks and health and policy organizations to ensure that the newest, most interesting, and most important research is accessible and reaches a wide audience.
- The SNAP Vaccine: Boosting Children’s Health – This report’s medical evidence shows that SNAP is an effective “vaccine” for supporting the healthy minds and bodies of our future leaders–our children.