What Is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity is a condition that occurs when there is a lack of access to safe and nutritious food, preventing people from living healthy and active lives. It can occur when people do not have physical or economic access to the food that meets their preferences and dietary needs.

Food supplies can be affected by natural factors including water shortages, agricultural degradation and crop diseases. Politics, war and economic instability also affect access to food. In countries where food insecurity exists, there are higher instances of infant mortality, shortened life spans and higher rates of disease and illness, among other health problems. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six people are food insecure in the United States as of 2014.