The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, and also points out that, “It is important to know that hunger and food insecurity are closely related, but distinct, concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the level of the household.”

1 in 7 Texans experiences food insecurity.

In Texas, 14% — 1 in 7 Texans — experience food insecurity. That’s 1.4 million Texas households and over 4 million individuals. Texas is one of just 15 states with higher food insecurity than the national average.

Effects of Food Insecurity

Food insecurity has tremendous and varying impacts on individuals and families. Some common ways that food insecurity expresses itself are through:

  • Difficult decisions and coping mechanisms — such as choosing between paying for food and health care, or food and utilities.
  • Health complications— including damage to cognitive abilities and interference with growth in children and disease management in adults.

Because it is economic in nature, food insecurity is episodic and often cyclical. Moving in and out of food insecurity, as many individuals do, simply adds more stress to a household that may already wrestle with instability and unpredictability.

How Feeding Texas Fights Hunger and Food Insecurity

Feeding Texas leads a unified effort to end hunger in Texas. We work to address the root causes of hunger by raising awareness about the issue of hunger across the state, advocating for policies to protect people in need, and providing thought leadership and statewide resources to a network of Texas food banks.