The USDA defines food insecurity as “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
Food is a basic need for people, yet many people do not have enough food or the right kinds of food to lead an active, healthy life.
Food insecurity is associated with poorer self-reported health status and lower intake of fruits and vegetables. Poor eating habits in childhood may continue into adulthood contributing to declines in health.
Spokane County has been working to implement several projects that will help address food insecurity and affordable access to healthy foods, such as creating community partnerships to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables through free and healthy community meals and produce distribution; having farmers’ markets accept food assistance debit cards and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program vouchers; amending city and county comprehensive plans as a first step to improving resident access to growing their own food; having schools participate in farm-to-school and school garden programs; and increasing the number of community gardens, especially in lower income neighborhoods.
49.1 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including nearly 16 million children. (Feeding America)
Working with providers on the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases, illnesses and other factors relating to health.
Reporting unsafe practices and illnesses helps the health district identify potential food-borne disease outbreaks.