Food insecurity and health: Addressing food needs for Medicaid enrollees as part of COVID-19 response efforts
One area of growing need due to the COVID-19 pandemic is access to food. Many people are facing increased challenges accessing food as they lose jobs and income, and many children have lost access to meals through schools due to their closure. Recent data from the Census Bureau indicates that 45% of adults reported their households did not always have enough of the type of food wanted during the week ending July 21; 12% reported food insufficiency, or sometimes or often not having enough food to eat, up from 9% for this group in March 2020. The majority of people reporting food insufficiency say it is due to inability to afford food, versus inability to go out to get food or lack of supply of food. At the same time, community food resources are facing higher levels of need, as 98% of food banks have reported an increase in demand, at an average increase of 63%. Food insufficiency is particularly high among lower-income people, with 21% of adults in households earning less than $50,000 per year reporting sometimes or often not having enough food in the past week.
Hall C, Artiga S, Orgera, K, Garfield, R. Food insecurity and health: Addressing food needs for Medicaid enrollees as part of COVID-19 response efforts. Kaiser Family Foundation; August 14, 2020. Available online.