USDA report says 'food insecurity' up in Minnesota


More Minnesotans are lacking income and resources when it comes to putting food in the pantry, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The study tracks food security across the United States, and finds that in 2012, 10.6 percent of Minnesotans lacked consistent access to food needed to stay healthy, as Minnesota Public Radio reports, marked as "food insecure." The survey found 4.8 percent are "very food insecure," meaning they sometimes have to eat less, or skip meals.

According to the USDA report, which can be found in multiple formats here, an estimated 14.5 percent of American households were "food insecure" at least some time during the year in 2012, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

That's a change from 14.9 percent in 2011, though is not considered statistically significant. The prevalence of very low food security was unchanged at 5.7 percent.

But there does appear to be an increase in the upper Midwest. Minnesota was at 10.6 for 2010-2012, 10.5 percent for 2007-2009, and 7.1 for 2000-2002.

In Iowa 12.6 percent of households between 2010 and 2012 were “food insecure," as the Des Moines Register reports. The level, the highest on record for the state, reflects a 1.1 percentage-point increase from 2007-2009 and a 3.5 percentage-point jump from a decade ago.

North Dakota has stayed relatively flat during those periods, and is at 8.1 percent today.

South Dakota, meanwhile, saw a jump from 8 percent in 2002 to 12.9 percent in 2012.

Wisconsin also rose from 8.1 percent in 2012 to 11.2 percent in 2002, but that's actually down from the 11.4 for the last reporting period.

Here's a national look at the report from USA Today.

And a statement from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is here.

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