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Food Insecurity Impacted by the Pandemic in America


According to the AAMC, “54 million people in America faced food insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Before COVID food insecurity was at its lowest since the great recession in America with only 37 million people impacted. I grew up in the lower middle class but it was not until the pandemic that my family started receiving food aid which inspired my further research. It made me wonder what is food insecurity, what are the causes of food insecurity, the effects of food insecurity, how was food insecurity influenced by the pandemic, what are the future projections of food insecurity, how we can end food insecurity, and many other questions.  Food insecurity has always been a problem in America but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming a more widespread problem.

Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. Throughout my research, I realized that the two main causes of food insecurity in America are unemployment and poverty. Before the pandemic, both had pretty low rates and raised during the pandemic affecting food insecurity. Food insecurity affects all different types of people and makes making life decisions hard. Individuals have to choose whether they are going to pay for bills, medical expenses, gas, insurance, etc, or food. This is especially hard for senior citizens that live on a fixed income and have more serious health conditions.  

Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021, all thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Obviously, it is becoming a more widespread problem throughout America. At this point in my research, I have learned that food insecurity is so difficult to solve due to the underlying causes discussed beforehand. I plan to do more research on how to help solve this problem, by looking at local organizations. It may be a small start, but it is better than doing nothing at all. I recommend for everyone to educate themselves on this topic and start by helping provide awareness. 


Balch, B. (October 15 2020).  54 million people in America face food insecurity during       the pandemic. It could have dire consequences for their health. Association of America Medical Colleges. Retrieved from https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/54-million-people-america-face-food-insecurity-during-pandemic-it-could-have-dire-consequences-their 

Feeding America. (2021). Food Insecurity in America. Feeding America. Retrieved from                                     https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/food-insecurity

Feeding America. (March 9 2021). The Impact of Coronavirus on Food Insecurity. Feeding America. Retrieved from  https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/National%20Projections%20Brief_3.9.2021_0.pdf

Julia Harpel

West Chester '23

Julia Harpel is a sophomore at West Chester University, studying to get her BSED Writings Track with a Minor in Creative Writing. She hopes to one day get a Master's Degree. Julia is a mental health advocate, environmentalist, and feminist. When she is not at school, work, writing, or reading, she enjoys spending time with friends, going on adventures such as kayaking, and listening to music especially country. Check out her links below! http://www.edifyfiction.com/uploads/4/4/2/9/44290661/teen2019_pdf.pdf
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