Understanding Oppression Media Challenge: Day 5 - Food Insecurity

The Understanding Oppression: 5-Day Media Challenge is designed to provide resources to help educate, interrogate and dismantle different forms of oppression. Day 5 of the challenge focuses on Food Insecurity Oppression.

Understanding Oppression: 5-Day Media Challenge

Day 1: Women’s Oppression
Day 2: Accessibility Oppression
Day 3: BIPOC Oppression
Day 4: LGBTQ+ Oppression

Day 5: Food Insecurity

Topic 1 - What is Food Insecurity?

In 2018, an estimated 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. 

The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access for a healthy, active life. 

Food insecurity does not exist in isolation, as low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like lack of affordable housing, social isolation, chronic or acute health problems, high medical costs, and low wages.

Topic 2 - Ranges of Food Insecurity

Food Security

  • High food security: no reported indications of food-access problems or limitations.
  • Marginal food security: one or two reported indications—typically of anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food in the house. Little or no indication of changes in diets or food intake.

Food Insecurity

  • Low food security (previously known as = Food insecurity without hunger): reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.

  • Very low food security (previously known as = Food insecurity with hunger):  reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

Topic 3 - Food Insecurity & COVID-19

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of food insecurity peaked at just under 15% of households in 2011.
  • In 2020:
    • Food insecurity affected 17 million MORE Americans than in 2019
    • Households with children were struck at alarmingly high rates
    • Black and Hispanic families with children were disproportionately affected

Topic 4: Food Insecurity & SUNY Brockport 

Studies, via a NY State survey, prior to the pandemic, shared that Brockport student responses were as follows for those who responded:

  • 45% of respondents of the study shared they had experienced hunger and did not have money for food
  • 34% of respondents shared they were unable to study or focus at work because they were hungry, and could not afford food

Campus committee on Basic Needs has been formed. Basic Needs Committee and Social Work students are drafting a proposal for an on-campus food pantry. 

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Author: Student Union & Activities


Kim Haines: khaines@brockport.edu

Posted: March 12, 2021