| Sep 18, 2023
Many Homes are Food Insecure Even When Employed
Food insecurity can persist even when the head of the household is employed due to a combination of complex and interconnected factors. Our Emergency Food Box Program serves the most vulnerable who come for domestic violence support services, however there are many families who are extremely vulnerable and need food support even when employed for the following reasons-
- Low-Wage Jobs
Many households with employed heads still struggle with food insecurity because they are in low-paying jobs. Low-wage jobs often do not provide sufficient income to cover basic living expenses, including food. Even when people are employed, their wages may not be enough to meet all their needs.
Some households face underemployments, where the head of the household may have a part-time job or temporary work that does not provide a stable income. Underemployment led to income volatility and periods of insufficient income to afford food.
- High Living Costs
The cost of living has become extremely high post covid and rental/ housing costs, healthcare expenses, and transportation costs, even families with employed heads may struggle to afford food after meeting these essential expenses.
- Unforeseen Expenses
Unexpected expenses such as medical bills or other emergencies making it difficult to afford food even with regular employment.
Some families have significant debt burdens, such as student loans, these financial obligations can consume a large portion of a household's income, leaving little left for food.
- Lack of Access to Affordable Food
There is limited access to affordable and nutritious food, commonly referred to as food deserts, some residents must travel long distances to find affordable groceries, which can be time-consuming and costly.
- Benefits Cliff
Some individuals or families avoid seeking government assistance, such as Welfare because of fear of judgement and pride as they feel the persons involved in processing their request may expose their vulnerabilitie
Structural issues, including discrimination, lack of educational opportunities, and systemic poverty, disproportionately affect certain communities and make it difficult for individuals to break the cycle of food insecurity
Health problems lead to increased medical expenses and reduced work capacity, making it challenging for employed heads of households to consistently provide enough food for their families.
Child Care Costs
The high cost of childcare often eats into a significant portion of a working parent's income, making it harder to afford food and other basic needs.
Mental health issues can affect an individual's ability to maintain employment and manage their finances, contributing to food insecurity.
Addressing food insecurity is a complex issue that involves a combination of policy changes, income support programs, access to affordable healthcare, affordable housing, and education opportunities, among other factors. It's important to recognize that employment alone does not guarantee food security, and a holistic approach is needed to address the root causes of this problem.