The United States has made almost no progress in solving the issue of food insecurity in the past two years, recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows.
A total of 10.5 percent or 13.8 million US households were food insecure at some time during 2020, unchanged from 10.5 percent in 2019, according to the government data.
"At times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food," it said.
Black and brown communities especially hit hard by the problem.
Household food insecurity also affected some 15 percent of households with children in the US in 2020, according to the data.
"About four in 10 households with Hispanic/Latinx or Black parents reported food insecurity," ABC News reported, citing a 2020 study from the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank. "That's almost triple what households with white parents reported," it noted.
"Food insecurity is a symptom of larger systemic issues like poverty," ABC News quoted Urban Institute expert Elaine Waxman as saying.
"Low-income families are often forced to trade off different kinds of necessities and expenses, sometimes leaving food off the table," Waxman said.
"It's really important to frame food insecurity as a public health issue," the expert warned.