According to a new report by Loyola University’s Jesuit Social Research Institute, Louisiana has the second highest rate of food insecurity in the U.S., and it is rising faster than in the rest of the country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines “food insecurity” as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Key findings from the report include:
- In Louisiana, 783,400 people, 258,630 of whom are children, struggle with hunger, according to Feeding America. One in six children — 17.9% —live in households without consistent access to adequate food.
- Of the 64 parishes in Louisiana, 46 have food insecurity rates of 15% or higher, and some as high as 34.4%. The national average in 2017 was 11.8%.
- Food insecurity rates are higher in small towns and rural areas than in cities in Louisiana, as they are nationally.