The biggest food security issue I identified in New York City is a cycle of poverty which leads to malnutrition and obesity.
While searching for information about this, I stumbled upon this somewhat venomous (if only frustrated) blog
, which I hold up in the interest of the rule "listen to the right people", because it provides a first person account of the problem. Simply stated, it's hard to live on a food budget of $1/day in the US. To survive, you live on cheap, high calorie food. This makes you obese.
Moving over to more wonky sources... it turns out one in eigh
t Americans is on food stamps, and they provide each person in a family of four a maximum of $1.85/meal
While it's generally hard to eat healthy on this amount of money, there's an additional problem reported by the Gotham Gazette
Currently, an estimated 3 million New Yorkers live in "high-need neighborhoods," defined by a lack of supermarkets and a prevalence of diet-related health problems. These areas lack food security, meaning that people who live in them have difficulty getting "nutritious and affordable food." An estimated 750,000 city residents live in "food deserts" -- areas more than five blocks from a supermarket. Often food deserts are located in low-income and minority communities with a prevalence of diet-related disease, such as obesity and diabetes."
In place of supermarkets are primarily bodegas, selling junk food at inflated prices. Not only is it difficult to afford healthy food even with food stamps, it's difficult to find it for many residents. Talk about food insecurity!