food insecure

variants: or less commonly food-insecure

Definition of food insecure

: unable to consistently access or afford adequate food According to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Americans—more than 50 million people—live in households that are "food insecure," a term that means a family sometimes runs out of money to buy food, or it sometimes runs out of food before it can get more money.— Lisa Miller A food-insecure household may be faced with the difficult choice of paying for basic necessities, such as health care and housing, or buying nutritionally adequate foods.— Elyse Miller

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Other Words from food insecure

food insecurity noun

Examples of food insecure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More than 17% of black seniors and 16% of Hispanic seniors are food insecure, compared with fewer than 7% of white seniors. Laura Ungar & Trudy Lieberman / Kaiser Health News, Time, "Why America Is Failing To Feed Its Aging," 28 Aug. 2019 The show will also take an in-depth look at hunger in Louisville and how area farmers are partnering with Dare to Care to feed the food insecure. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "How KET's newest show, 'The Farmer & The Foodie,' showcases the best of life in Kentucky," 9 Jan. 2020 At Southern Connecticut State University, surveys conducted over the last few years showed that about 30 percent of the 10,000-student population falls into the category of food insecure. NBC News, "Hunger on campus: The fight against student food insecurity," 1 Dec. 2019 Brandywine Creek Farms has made waves since switching from a for-profit business to an organization dedicated to supporting the food insecure. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Former Pogue's Run Grocer will reopen as new market, including pay-what-you-can cafe," 25 Nov. 2019 According to data from the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFA), 30 percent of college students are food insecure. NBC News, "Hunger on campus: The fight against student food insecurity," 1 Dec. 2019 Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic difficulties in more than a decade .More than 60% of the population of 16 million is now considered food insecure., "News of the Day From Across the World," 28 Nov. 2019 According to a 2017 study done by Feeding America, about 6.5% of Howard County residents are food insecure., "Letters: Busing isn’t the answer to Howard schools’ disparity problem; and more from readers," 17 Sep. 2019 According to the nonprofit Feeding America, nearly 8.6 million Americans 60 and older were marginally food insecure in 2016. al, "Alabama restaurant has no prices, just a box for donations," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'food insecure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of food insecure

1977, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for food insecure

Time Traveler

The first known use of food insecure was in 1977

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Statistics for food insecure

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Food insecure.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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