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Food Insecurity

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Food Insecurity Rate by County, All Persons, New Mexico, 2018

Food Insecurity Rate by County, Children Age 0 to 17 Years, New Mexico, 2018

Food Insecurity Rate by U.S. States, All Persons, 2018

Food Insecurity Rate by U.S. States, Children Age 0-17 Years, 2018

Why Is This Important?

Inconsistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can have a negative impact on the health of individuals of all ages. The USDA estimates that as of 2018, 326,000 people, including over 118,000 children, in New Mexico were food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (15.1%) and 1 in 4 children (24%) lived in households without consistent access to adequate to adequate food. In the US, adults in food insecure households are much more likely than food secure adults to have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children because they are more vulnerable to potential long-term consequences for their future physical and mental health and academic achievement.

Definition

Food insecurity refers to USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household's need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Data Sources

  • U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, modeled and presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report.
    (http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america)
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.
    (http://gps.unm.edu/)

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:The number of persons living in food-insecure households.
Denominator:The number of persons in the population.

How Are We Doing?

The USDA estimates that as of 2017, 326,000 people, including over 118,000 children, in New Mexico are food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (15.5%) and 1 in 4 children (24%) live in homes without consistent access to adequate food. McKinley, Luna, and Cibola Counties had the highest percentages of food insecurity for all persons and for children.

What Is Being Done?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) play a critical role in helping low-income families break out of the cycle of hunger and diet-related disease. Both programs augment households' food budgets, allowing them to purchase more healthful foods, and provide nutrition education to participants.

More Resources

[https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics Food Security Status of U.S. Households in 2016] [http://map.feedingamerica.org/ Map of Food Insecurity in The United States]

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/15/2021, Published on 04/29/2021
Community Health Assessment Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Rena Manning at rena.manning@state.nm.us