Food insecurity harms our health

Food insecurity (not always being able to get safe and good food) is connected with many bad health results like type 2 diabetes. Racial differences in food insecurity rates have also led to differences in these bad health results, including the risk of early death. Another example of the impact of food insecurity is the 30% increase in the number of people hospitalized for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in the final week of the month among people living in the poorest areas of California. This hints that some families run out of money for food before they get paid.

Eating at home takes time

The SNAP program helps about 42 million Americans and lowers food insecurity and healthcare costs (about $1400 per year lower costs for low-income adults). SNAP is based on what it costs to cover a practical, nutritious diet of food made at home. Until recently, SNAP has ignored the fact that people enrolled in SNAP take 90 minutes or more per week than average Americans to prepare their food. This is a lot of time that may badly affect a family’s money.

Right to Food

In 2022, the maximum monthly SNAP benefit for a four-person household in most states rose from $646 to $835. The problem is, many eligible families may still not get SNAP because of shame, and fear of their immigration status affecting them. Not knowing a lot about the program may also be a barrier. Making SNAP a basic income program for all people could help solve these problems and decrease food insecurity to improve health.

A “right to food” would be a good step to help people most at risk from type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.


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