Commemorating 20 years of U.S. food security measurement

by Hunger Notes

Panel at the meeting observing the 20th anniversary of U.S. food security measurement.

October 28, 2014) Last week the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) celebrated its 20th year of measuring food security in the USA. Using 10-18 indicators to measure hunger, first developed at Cornell University, the ERS has measured food insecurity and very low food security in households across the country. In 1995, 12 percent of households reported having food insecurity, and of that, 4 percent reported having very low food security. Today, the numbers have risen, with 14% of households being food insecure and 5.6 percent very low food security. Food security is defined as consistent access to enough food for active, healthy living, The measurement has been validated and proven to be a reliable indicator of food insecurity in the US. Four other countries have adapted a similar survey method. What is striking about the data is that we still have a long ways to go to reach zero food insecurity. More information can be found at