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Pittsburgh Nonprofits To Tackle Food Insecurity After USDA Confirms Growing Crisis

The USDA report confirms the growing food insecurity crisis in the city due to which, many households with children are sleeping hungry. 

December 1, 2023

The number of food-insecure households has increased since 2008. According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an additional 10 Million people lived without consistent access to food in 2022 compared to the previous year. 


Pittsburgh organizations emphasize the need to strengthen social safety nets and the need to consider new approaches to an ongoing crisis. 

The USDA’s analysis, published in October, reveals the extensive and severe issue of food insecurity. The survey, conducted by asking one adult per household about their experiences and behaviors related to food insecurity, uncovered challenges such as being unable to afford balanced meals, reducing meal portions, and experiencing hunger due to insufficient funds for food.

Food insecurity in Pennsylvania is on the rise and has been on the rise since 2019. The charitable groups are feeling the impact of food insecurity. 

In the past few months, the organizations distributed more than 6% more food than they did last year and served more meals than during the pandemic. 

The food bank recently realized a long-held vision to expand its operations with a nearly 30,000-square-foot expansion and renovation project. This expansion includes an onsite market, resembling a grocery store, where people can shop for food items. It aims to enhance in-person connections and provide support to address issues related to food access within their 11-county service area.

USDA’s report revealed children to be most vulnerable among others. Nearly 17% of households with children were affected by food insecurity in 2022. According to the report, parents used to shield their children from the disputed eating patterns and reduced food intake characterizing very low food insecurity. 

Still, 1% of households with children reported children sleeping hungry, skipping meals and not eating the whole day because of the shortage of food. 

The USDA’s Survey reveals that nearly 55% of food-insecure households participate in one or more federal nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children. 

The report shows that disabled people and people of color are more at risk of becoming food insecure than others. Another report found out that nearly 216,000 people live within food deserts meaning one mile in urban areas and 10 miles in rural areas from a supermarket or a grocery store. 

Consequently, the organization will be creating more food distribution centers, community centers, and more to provide food within easy reach of people. 

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Anderson Jordan. “Pittsburgh nonprofits tackle food insecurity as USDA report confirms growing crisis”. Pittsburgh Post Gazette, November 26, 2023, 

Pittsburgh nonprofits tackle food insecurity as USDA report confirms growing crisis | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last Updated: September 20, 2021