Food Insecurity: What Texas Health Steps Providers Need to Know

The Language of Food

Hunger is the personal, physical sensation of discomfort due to lack of food. Food insecurity is the lack of resources for a household’s food, according to Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks. This course focuses on food insecurity.

The USDA defines food insecurity and two of its subcategories. A household is considered food insecure in general if, at certain times of the year, any members are uncertain of having—or are unable to acquire—enough food to meet their needs because of insufficient money or other resources for food. These household members may be unable to lead an active, healthy life because the family fits into either subcategory:

  • Low food security

    Households that obtain enough food to avoid substantially disrupting their eating patterns or reducing the amount of food eaten by using a variety of coping strategies.

  • Very low food security

    Households in which normal eating patterns of one or more members are disrupted and food intake is reduced at times because of insufficient money or other resources for food.