food insecure


variants or less commonly 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

Examples of food insecure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The participants all had a chronic health condition or were food insecure. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 21 Mar. 2024 The kits are distributed through hunger relief agencies throughout San Diego to help low-income, food insecure residents learn how to grow their own healthy food. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Jan. 2024 Many of those whom the church feeds are homeless or food insecure. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 9 Feb. 2024 According to the Capital Area Food Bank’s Hunger Report 2023, 32 percent of the region’s population is food insecure, a single percentage point lower than the previous year. Kyle Swenson, Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2023 Over 40 percent of the population is food insecure, contributing to high rates of child malnutrition, and access to safe drinking water and sanitation remains severely restricted, which complicates efforts to contain the latest resurgence of cholera. Maryanne Murray Buechner, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 In addition to a struggling commercial real estate sector, Alberta is reported to have the highest rate of food insecurity among Canadian provinces; approximately one in five Alberta households is food insecure. Ciara O'Brien, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 July 2023 The fact that 20% of North Texas children are food insecure may seem impossible for such a prosperous region. United Way Of Metropolitan Dallas, Dallas News, 1 June 2023 At the 2021 Academy Awards, Perry was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for helping the food insecure during the pandemic. CBS News, 17 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'food insecure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of food insecure was in 1977

Dictionary Entries Near food insecure

Cite this Entry

“Food insecure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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