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Opportunities to Improve Food Equity and Access in Massachusetts

June 3, 2022

This is GBFB's second annual Massachusetts statewide survey on food access.From December 2021 to February 2022, using an online survey company, GBFB surveyed more than 3,000 Massachusetts adults.The survey oversampled adults with lower incomes to ensure we heard from people most likely to need food assistance. Statistical weighting methods were used to collect estimates representative of the Massachusetts adult population.The survey was adapted from the National Food Access and COVID Research Team (NFACT) survey and modified to focus on issues related to food insecurity and food assistance use. GBFB modified the NFACT survey with input from statewide community partners including GBFB's Health and Research Advisory Council. 

Hunger fallout: How the G7 can prevent the war in Ukraine from escalating the global hunger crisis

May 17, 2022

The devastating impact of the war in Ukraine is being felt by crisis-affected communities around the world. People living in low-income, food import-dependent countries already impacted by conflict, COVID-19 and climate change are now suffering from the ripple effects of food supply chain disruptions, skyrocketing food prices and rising inflation.Drawing on the IRC's work in food insecure contexts, this report outlines how the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine are compounding a pre-existing hunger crisis, and how the G7 and wider international community can prevent the war from pushing other vulnerable communities closer to famine.

Another Perfect Storm?

May 6, 2022

With the invasion of Ukraine sparking a third food price crisis in 15 years, a new IPES-Food special report, 'Another Perfect Storm?' takes stock of the critical factors fanning the flames of global hunger - and what can be done about them. World food prices continued to see record-breaking highs in April 2022, hitting food insecure countries and populations hard. Numbers of undernourished people could increase by 13 million this year. The special report blames fundamental flaws in global food systems - such as heavy reliance on food imports and excessive commodity speculation - for escalating food insecurity sparked by the Ukraine invasion. These flaws were exposed, but not corrected, after previous food price spikes in 2007-8. 

Seven Actions to Limit the Impact of War in Ukraine on Food Security

May 5, 2022

2021 and 2022 have experienced sharply rising and increasingly volatile food prices. Even before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, FAO's international food price index had already reached an all-time high. Wheat prices have been highly volatile for more than six months, spiking with the invasion of Ukraine, as shown by IFPRI's excessive food price variability index. With steep declines in exports from Ukraine and Russia, global wheat shortages are expected to occur soon, likely intensifying the crisis. A major reduction in chemical fertilizer exports could devastate not only upcoming harvests of wheat, but also those of other grains. In 2020, Russia provided 14 percent of globally traded supplies of nitrogenous fertilizers, 11 percent of phosphorous-based fertilizers, and, together with Belarus, 41 percent of potash-based fertilizers (Hebebrand and Laborde 2022). Combined, these factors are putting the food and nutrition security of millions of people at risk.CGIAR researchers have conducted comprehensive analyses to identify seven priority actions that could be considered by policymakers and other key decisionmakers to mitigate supply and price shocks and to improve resilience to future crises. These analyses draw not only from past crises, such as the 2007–2008 food price crisis, but also an array of groundbreaking research being conducted through CGIAR's new research portfolio.

Rise Against Hunger 2021 Annual Report

May 5, 2022

Rise Against Hunger has made great strides in the fight against hunger since our founding in 1998. We are proud to share our achievements in the areas of nourishing lives, responding to crisis and creating sustainable solutions to hunger in our annual report.

2022 Global Report on Food Crises

May 4, 2022

The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2022) highlights the remarkably high severity and numbers of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent in 53 countries/territories, driven by persistent conflict, pre-existing and COVID-19-related economic shocks, and weather extremes. The number identified in the 2022 edition is the highest in the report's six-year existence. The report is produced by the Global Network against Food Crises (which includes WFP), an international alliance working to address the root causes of extreme hunger.

Food Insecurity Among Undocumented Immigrants in California and Exclusion from Nutrition Assistance Programs

April 29, 2022

California is home to the largest economy in the United States–and our nation's highest rate of poverty. That experience of deep hardship in the face of great prosperity holds true for many California immigrants. An estimated 11 million immigrants–including approximately 2.3 million undocumented immigrants–contribute to the rich diversity of the Golden State.The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hardship and driven inequitable outcomes for immigrants across California. But hardships such as poverty and food insecurity persisted well before this public health emergency. Exclusionary policies continue to perpetuate poverty and food insecurity, inflicting harm on California's immigrant communities and the state at large.This brief draws on quantitative data and community voices to provide a novel, state-specific analysis of food insecurity and poverty among undocumented immigrants in California. These findings are essential to advance evidence-based policies that can make California a more equitable, inclusive place for all who call it home.

The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict and Its Food Security Implications in Northwest Syria

April 13, 2022

This report finds that ripple effects from the conflict in Ukraine threaten to exacerbate food insecurity in Northwest Syria, already rising after a decade of conflict and economic instability and compounded by severe drought that impacted last year's harvest. More than 4.1 million people are food insecure in Northwest Syria and even before conflict erupted in Ukraine, the region saw a 86% increase in food prices from January 2021 to January 2022.Additional report findings include:The price of essential food items in Northwest Syria has already increased between 22% and 67% (varies by region) since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Price increases have been accompanied by a shortage in sunflower oil, sugar, and flour in some communities.Food needs have increased 8.3% for every $1 increase in flour prices and 6.2% for every $1 increase in wheat prices.Fuel reserves are most likely sufficient to last one to two months, largely due to insufficient storage facilities.Between 17 February and 10 March, the town of Sarmada experienced: a 44% increase in the price of bulger, 67% increase in the price of sunflower oil, 47% increase in the price of long grain rice, and 30% increase in the price of sugar.

Breadbasket to Bread Lines: Global Food Security After the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

April 1, 2022

Global food prices were already rising significantly before the invasion of Ukraine. The invasion, however, has set off another round of price increases for basic foodstuffs including grains (notably wheat) and cooking oils such as sunflower oil. As the invasion continues into the spring planting season, pushing many Ukrainian farmers off their farms, the effects could easily become dire: the UN has warned of the distinct consequences of a severe food crisis later this year in many countries around the world, notably in the Middle East and Africa, with millions of people at risk of food insecurity because of higher prices and lack of supply.The Conference Board first addressed this broad subject of food security on March 15 with a paper asking "What If Russia/Ukraine Grain Trade Halts?" That paper stated that Russia and Ukraine together "supply 16 percent of global exports of grains" and examined current global "stockpiles that can be tapped for exports, and the capacity of internal infrastructure and labor to facilitate ramped up trade. India, the US, and the EU appear uniquely positioned to step in to feed the world." However, the paper also noted that "[t]he human suffering of the war in Ukraine could potentially extend out exponentially to the rest of the globe by exacerbating global food insecurity. The armed conflict . . . could seriously disrupt production and exports of grain to very vulnerable countries."This Policy Brief supplements that paper as the war has continued and also focuses on several specific issues regarding the serious prospect of global food insecurity, with particularly strong impacts in regions including the Middle East and Africa. 

Spotlight On State of Food Hardship in New York City: Lessons learned during the pandemic and where we go from here

November 18, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic, with more than one in three New Yorkers sometimes or often running out of food or worrying that food would run out before they had money to buy more. The pandemic brought new and devastating challenges in quick succession, with half of New Yorkers losing work-related income at the peak of the pandemic, not knowing how they would make rent or keep food on the table, or when things would get back to "normal."In the face of uncertainty, actions were taken at federal, state, and local levels to stabilize income and provide a buffer against new experiences of material hardship. These included the substantial expansion of the unemployment insurance program, stimulus payments, the increase in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) payments, and eviction moratoria. 2020 also saw community-based organizations across the city quickly adapt to meet needs and deliver services while maintaining public health guidelines. This included the substantial expansion of emergency food assistance programs, with food pantries changing their hours, protocols, and delivery mechanisms. Data from the Poverty Tracker show that these supply-side changes aligned with an increased demand for food – between 2019 and 2020, the number of families in the Poverty Tracker sample receiving food from a food pantry more than doubled. And among foreign-born New Yorkers, who were less likely to benefit from the federal policy expansions, the number of people using food pantries nearly tripled. This sharp increase suggests that the role of pantries in the lives of New Yorkers changed over the course of the pandemic, and many of these changes may continue to play a role in fighting food hardship through the pandemic recovery.

Continuing Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Scarcity in New York

June 1, 2021

Food insecurity is a secondary crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, millions of New Yorkers have lost employment or are living on a reduced household income, straining their ability to afford food. For many New Yorkers, savings are depleted, stimulus checks have long since been spent, and enhanced unemployment benefits are not sufficient to meet food needs. Furthermore, social distancing measures have disrupted previous pathways to food access, such as meals provided in community settings (e.g., houses of worship) or schools.This report reviews self-reported survey data related to food scarcity in New York State during the coronavirus pandemic. It presents food scarcity rates by race and ethnicity, age, and household income, and compares New York State with neighboring states. Rates are also shown for child food scarcity. It assesses how frequently New Yorkers are accessing free meals and groceries and from which access points (e.g., school programs, food pantries). Finally, it measures which methods food-scarce New Yorkers are using to meet their household spending needs. Unless otherwise specified, results in this report are among adult New Yorkers.Data from this report come from the COVID-19 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product designed by the U.S. Census Bureau in collaboration with multiple federal agencies. The survey, which is ongoing, is providing near real-time data on household experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Prior NYSHealth reports described trends related to food scarcity through July 2020 and through December 2020. This most recent report extends the analysis through March 2021, covering a full year since social distancing and stay-at-home orders were enacted.

Brighter Bites Annual Report 2020

May 24, 2021

Brighter Bites started out the year excited about our program's expansion and growth to our seventh market, Salinas, California; then the pandemic changed everything. Many Brighter Bites families who were so reliant on our program for weekly free, fresh produce and nutrition education resources were suddenly unable to engage with us due to quarantines and school closures. We did not allow barriers to stop us, we adjusted, we innovated, and we found ground-breaking ways to continue to accomplish our mission to create communities of health through fresh food. In the midst of adversity in 2020, Brighter Bites served the highest number of families ever, distributed the most produce ever, and had the farthest nutrition education reach ever.