'Food Insecurity' numbers show mixed news for the Rochester area

May 6, 2017

The latest report on what is known as ‘food insecurity’ has some mixed news for the Rochester area.

Food insecurity is a term describing the inability to have access to fresh affordable food throughout the whole year.

Julia Tedesco is executive director of the regional food bank, Foodlink, and she says the survey does show that the overall food insecurity rate in the 10 county area they serve has dipped from a year ago.

She says that food insecurity among children fell by an even greater amount.

“So we’re heartened to see that improvement in child hunger, however what’s more telling is that the cost of food has increased slightly, so that families are still facing just about the same amount of trouble to access nutritious food as they were a year ago at this time," Tedesco told WXXI News.

Tedesco says one problem has been the number of families who have trouble getting proper nutrition but also aren’t eligible for SNAP, the federal food stamp program.

“About a third of individuals in our region that are food insecure don’t qualify for federal nutrition benefits like food stamps or what are now known as SNAP, and we’re seeing that more and more among our clients is that they have no assistance through federal nutrition programs and therefore have to rely more on the emergency food system.”

Tedesco says this is why a public-private partnership is needed to continue to make up gaps in area residents food budgets.