Tag Archives: food security

USDA Report: Disability a Risk Factor for Food Insecurity

Amber waves logo cropped

A recent issue of Amber Waves, from the USDA Economic Research Service, reports on a new study showing that disability is one of the strongest factors affecting a household’s food security status. The report states that in 2009-2010 “one-third of households with a working-age adult who was unable to work due to disability were food insecure,” compared to “12 percent of households that had no working-age adults with disabilities.” Food insecurity is often more severe in households that include adults with disabilities.

The full report, Food Insecurity Among Households with Working-Age Adults with Disabilities, is available online.

Summer Field Research Begins

The start of summer 2013 marks the third year in which Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security faculty and staff have gone to the field to hear the voices of people using food pantries in central and northeast Missouri. This large research project will gather data from approximately 1200 food pantry clients in 32 counties through in-depth personal interviews. The data will be used to look at a variety of challenges faced by households. The ultimate goals are to help people lead healthy and productive lives and give policy makers, agency professionals, and service providers information to develop and deliver solutions to deal with hunger and food insecurity.

More information about the research can be found on the Missouri Food Pantry Client Research page of our website.

Can $4 a day provide a nutritious diet?

That is the question posed by the Health Communication Research Center, a partner of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, as their staff embarked on the Food Stamp Challenge in March. Limiting food expenditures to $28 dollars per week (the average SNAP benefit for a person in Missouri), they set out to learn about the challenges of eating healthy on a food stamp budget and shared their experiences on the their blog. The challenge coincides with National Nutrition Month and the release of the documentary, A Place at the Table.

The Health Communication Research Center at the University of Missouri School of Journalism uses evidence-based communication tools to help strengthen public health for stronger Missouri communities. The center works with a wide range of clients and may be contacted by following this link.

Hidden Hunger at Mizzou

hidden hunger event logo university of missouri

Hunger on college campuses is often overlooked, but with increasing costs for tuition and housing, students often find themselves pinched. Students at the University of Missouri recently organized an event to bring the issue to light. Co-hosted by the Women’s Center, Tiger Pantry (MU’s campus-based food pantry), and the Environmental Leadership Office, Hidden Hunger included a panel of MU students who shared their personal stories about dealing with food insecurity. Ashley Vancil, a graduate student with the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, moderated the panel. More information about the forum can be found at the Maneater and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Poverty Summit Brings Together Advocates and Experts

missourians to end poverty graphic

The 2013 Poverty Summit, sponsored by Missourians to End Poverty, took place on April 9th in Jefferson City, Missouri. The summit provided an opportunity for organizations and advocates from across the state to network, learn from one another, and develop strategies for addressing poverty in Missouri. This year’s summit featured the notable Peter Edelman, author of So Rich So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America, who discussed issues related to wealth disparities, unemployment, and the working poor. Other featured speakers included Eileen Wallace and Gene Nichol.

More information about the summit can be found at the Public News Service and KBIA.

The City that Ended Hunger

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - By Benjamin Thompson (Flickr: Belo Horizonte, Brazil) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A Yes magazine article by Frances Moore Lappé tells the story of how Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, tackled the issue of hunger. Using a combination of policy and market measures, along with citizen engagement, the city reached nearly 40 percent of it’s 2.5 million citizens through various hunger relief and nutrition efforts and reduced infant mortality by half over a 10 year period. In particular, the city worked to link local farmers with consumers through the establishment of farmers’ markets, used pricing schemes to make certain fruits and vegetables more affordable, and established “People’s Restaurants” (Restaurante Poplular) to serve inexpensive, wholesome meals. Other initiatives focused on community and school gardens and nutrition education. These efforts stemmed from a philosophy that access to good food is a human right.

Read more about this creative and bold approach.

Community Food Systems and Food Banks

Image of Watering Hens

The Community Food Resource Center, part of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, stands out for their efforts to incorporate programs and projects that link people to community-based food systems.  They have active home and community gardening programs, a 2.5 acre urban farm, and farmers’ markets that provide a source of fresh food to the community. The Resource Center also supports a unique Community Food Consignment Program which enables home gardeners and small farmers to consign their produce for sale at local farmers’ markets.

Robert Ojeda, vice president of the Community Food Resource Center, was recently on the University of Missouri campus as part of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security Research Symposium. His presentation, along with the presentations of other invited speakers, can be found here.

Food Insecurity Research Symposium: Agenda and Presentations

October 17-19, 2012
University of Missouri

Wednesday, October 17

Keynote Presentation: Patricia Allen, Marylhurst University and University of California, Serving food justice: articulating analysis and action

[Suggested Citation: Allen, P. (October 2012). Serving food justice: articulating analysis and action. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Thursday, October 18

Panel I – Means: Research using variables related to food access, availability, distribution, and affordability affecting food insecurity.

Adam Rabinowitz, University of Connecticut, Community Food Security in Connecticut: A Town Level Assessment

[Suggested Citation: Rabinowitz, A. (October 2012). Community Food Security in Connecticut: A Town Level Assessment. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Michele Ver Ploeg, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Measures of Food Access: Which Measures and What Do They Tell Us?

[Suggested Citation: Ver Ploeg, M. (October 2012). National Measures of Food Access: Which Measures and What Do They Tell Us? Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Bruce Weber, Oregon State University, Understanding Food Insecurity at the State and Local Level

[Suggested Citation: Weber, B., Edwards, M., and Wall, C. (October 2012). Understanding Food Insecurity at the State and Local Level. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Panel II – Outcomes: Research using variables related to physical and mental health, economic costs, educational attainment, and other social, economic, and physical consequences of food insecurity.

Darcy Freedman, University of South Carolina, Community, Economic, and Health Development Outcomes Related to Food Security

[Suggested Citation: Freedman, D. (October 2012). Community, Economic, and Health Development Outcomes Related to Food Security. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

David Holben, Ohio University, Food Insecurity and Health Related Outcomes

[Suggested Citation: Holben, D. (October 2012). Food Insecurity and Health Related Outcomes. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Chery Smith, University of Minnesota, Physical and Mental Health Consequences of Food Insecurity

[Suggested Citation: Smith, C. (October 2012). Physical and Mental Health Consequences of Food Insecurity. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Panel III – Program and Policy Context: Research related to how data is used in the creation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of impacts of public and private sector policies/programs related to food insecurity

Heather Hartline-Grafton, Food Research and Action Center, Anti-Hunger Advocacy and Food Insecurity Research

[Suggested Citation: Hartline-Grafton, H. (October 2012). Anti-Hunger Advocacy and Food Insecurity Research. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Beth Low, Kansas City Healthy Kids and KC Food Policy Council

Parke Wilde, Tufts University, Program and Policy Context – Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies

[Working version. Not for citation. Please see the forthcoming book, Food Policy in the United States, an Introduction.]

Panel IV – Using Data in Public Programs: Community and agency leaders talk about how data is used, what data is missing, and what tools may be helpful in communities working to address food security disparities. 

Kara Lubischer, St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Initiative, University of Missouri Extension, Meet me in St. Louis (County?)

[Suggested Citation: Lubischer, K. (October 2012). Meet me in St. Louis (County?). Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Robert Ojeda, Community Food Resource Center, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Using Data in Public Programs

[Suggested Citation: Ojeda, R. (October 2012). Using Data in Public Programs. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

LaDonna Redmond, Food and Justice Program, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Food Insecurity to Food Justice: Cultivating an agenda for change

[Suggested Citation: Redmond, L. (October 2012). Food Insecurity to Food Justice: Cultivating an agenda for change. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

Keynote Presentation: David Holben, Ohio University, Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes…Does Food Access Really Make a Difference?

[Suggested Citation: Holben, D. (October 2012). Food Insecurity and Health Related Outcomes…Does Food Access Really Make a Difference?. Invited presentation at the University of Missouri Symposium, Food Insecurity: Assessing Disparities, Consequences, and Policies, Columbia, MO.]

The symposium was funded by Mizzou Advantage and the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence.

Speaker biographies can be found here.

World Food Day 2012

World Food Day 2012 Banner

October 16 was World Food Day, sponsored by a host of government agencies and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about hunger and malnutrition around the world. According to a recent report jointly published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP), approximately 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010 through 2012. The report notes that while the number of hungry people declined between 1990 and 2007, efforts to reduce hunger have slowed since 2007.

The theme for World Food Day 2012 is “Agriculture Cooperatives – Key to Feeding the World,” to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and farmers’ incomes. This year’s World Food Prize went to Dr. Daniel Hillel, known for his work to maximize efficient water use in agriculture, increase crop yields, and minimize environmental degradation.

Learn more about activities and events planned in the U.S.

Can these Minnesota ads reduce obesity?

bluecross mn logo

Minnesotans have something new to watch on TV: Commercials encouraging them to reduce their weight. They are a part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota’s latest campaign to reduce obesity rates.

These ads haven’t been universally loved, drawing criticism from those who argue that people respond better to positive message about health and healthy eating rather than negative ones. The insurance company is defending the ads.

The ads can be viewed in Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog post at the Washington Post.