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Definition:  The percentage of families who are food insecure.  The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a measure of the lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members; limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Prevalence of Household-Level Food Insecurity (3-year Average)
2003-2005 2004-2006 2005-2007 2006-2008 2007-2009 2008-2010 2009-2011 2010-2012 2011-2013 2012-2014
MD 9.4% 9.5% 8.6% 9.6% 11.1% 12.5% 12.5% 13.0% 13.3% 12.5%
US 11.4% 11.3% 11.0% 12.2% 13.5% 14.6% 14.7% 14.7% 14.6% 14.3%

Data Source: Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Christian Gregory, and Anita Singh. Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, ERR-194, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2015.

Story Behind the Data:

Over the last several years, Maryland has made significant progress in connecting children and families to a number of federal nutrition programs. In partnership with Share Our Strength, and with the support of Maryland Hunger Solutions, the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in Maryland leads Maryland’s efforts to connect children and families to nutrition resources.  This public-private partnership includes non-profit organizations, businesses and foundations, State and federal agencies, advocates, local leaders, and representatives from the faith community.

While the Partnership has made strides in connecting families to a number of nutrition programs and resources, the growth in participation in the School Breakfast Program has been particularly impressive. During SY14-15, Maryland had the third highest school breakfast participation rate among all 50 states, a marked improvement from only four years prior, when Maryland’s participation ranked only 24th. As a result, more children than ever before are starting their school days better prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom.

As a result of the Partnership’s success, the reduction of childhood hunger remains a key strategic goal of Maryland’s Children’s Cabinet, and member agencies will continue to look for ways to improve program delivery, streamline eligibility determinations, and eliminate duplicaton of effort.