WASHINGTON, D.C. – Food insecurity – the lack of access to healthy, nutritious food – affects about one in six Ohio families according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced a new effort to encourage Members of Congress to dedicate one hour during the holiday season to raise awareness about ways to combat hunger. The Hour for Hunger Initiative is an effort of the Senate Hunger Caucus to improve food security for families throughout the United States.
“Hunger isn’t a seasonal condition for more than 680,000 Ohioans who are food insecure – it’s a daily struggle that demands close attention and constant action,” Brown said. We must continue to make time to address new ways to improve access to healthy, nutritious foods and other resources needed urgently by our fellow citizens.”
According to the USDA, the term “food security” refers to the “assured access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” In particular, this food should be nutritious, safe, and easily obtainable through normal channels. Today’s USDA report showed that 16.4 percent of Ohio households are considered to be food insecure, up from 15.2 percent last year.
Brown has been a leader in the Senate on issues relating to hunger and nutrition. As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms, Brown helped craft the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which the Senate passed in August. That same month, Brown joined community leaders in Youngstown to outline efforts to fight childhood hunger and eradicate “food deserts.” Brown is also a member of the bipartisan Senate Hunger Caucus.