Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a major issue in both economically developing countries and the United States.

The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity and hunger are related, but are two different concepts, while hunger is a physical sensation or condition,  food insecurity is a lack of financial resources to afford the necessary food.

In America & Hartford, CT

  • In 2017, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating to 40 million Americans including more than 12 million children. This number is the equivalent of the entire population of Canada.

  • It affects all walks of life in America and is located in both urban and rural areas.

  • Certain populations had food insecurity rates higher than the national average, including individuals living alone, Hispanic and Black non-Hispanic households, as well as households with an income below 185% of the poverty threshold (only $46,435 for a family of 4).

  • Hartford and Tolland Counties are at higher risk of food insecurity than the national average. Over 34,000 children in the Greater Hartford area suffer from food insecurity

  • A major issue for Connecticut families, particularly in urban settings. A food deserts is an area that lacks access to healthy food, particularly fresh produce. The produce is not only too expensive to buy in stores, but is in fact not available. The city of Hartford ranks as the 8th worst food desert in the country based on USDA data.

In Haiti

Food insecurity in Haiti is rampant, and comparison between the United States and Haiti is hard to do as the following statistics from USAID show,

  • 40% of households were undernourished and 30% of children suffered from chronic malnutrition.

  • More than 1 out of 5 Haitian children experience permanently stunted growth

  • While gains have been made in combating hunger, approximately 50% of Haiti’s population is undernourished. In recent years this had been made worse by the many droughts and hurricanes that have occurred over the recent years. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew for example affected around 2 million Haitians.

  • USAID identifies food security as the key first step for Haiti to be able to achieve economic growth and national stability.

Levo recognizes this fact and the terrible conditions many Haitians face on a daily basis, and is dedicated to creating sustainable solutions to the main issue that prevents growth in Haiti.


Data Sources

Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, and Anita Singh. 2018. Household Food Security in the United States in 2017, ERR-256, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

Social Determinants of Health. Healthy People 2020. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health. Accessed January 24, 2017.

Definitions of Food Security. United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/definitions-of-food-security/#ranges Updated September 5, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2018.

The World Factbook: Haiti. Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html  February 01, 2018. Accessed 02, 2019.

"Haiti." World Bank: Haiti At-A-Glance.  https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/haiti. Accessed April 02, 2019.

"Agriculture and Food Security | Haiti." U.S. Agency for International Development. https://www.usaid.gov/haiti/agriculture-and-food-security. January 25, 2018. Accessed April 02, 2019.