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Household Food Security in the United States, 2006

by Mark Nord, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-49) 66 pp, November 2007

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Eighty-nine percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2006, meaning that they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (10.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year. About one-third of food insecure households (4.0 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security—meaning that the food intake of one or more adults was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food. Prevalence rates of food insecurity and very low food security were essentially unchanged from those in 2005. The typical food-secure household spent 31 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition. Just over half of all food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs during the month prior to USDA’s annual Food Security Survey.

Keywords: Food security, food insecurity, hunger, low food security, very low food security, food expenditures, U.S. households, food assistance and nutrition programs, food stamp program, national school lunch program, WIC

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Last updated: Sunday, May 27, 2012

For more information contact: Mark Nord, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson

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