February 7, 2023

St. Mary’s Food Security Report Available

Food Security

The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership has released the 2022 Food Security Report for St. Mary’s County.

In 2020, 9.6% of St. Mary’s County residents and 9.6% of children in St. Mary’s were considered to be food insecure (Map the Meal Gap, Feeding America, 2020). Feeding America estimates that 18% of Black and 12% of Latino/Hispanic residents were considered to be food insecure in 2020. They also estimate that 43% of food insecure people in St. Mary’s were above the SNAP and other nutrition programs threshold of 200% poverty, and 26% of food insecure children in the county were likely ineligible for federal nutrition programs.

Food security is defined by the US Department of Agriculture as access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse social and health outcomes. Key drivers of food insecurity include unemployment, poverty, and income shocks, which can prevent adequate access to food.

The Food Security Report uses local data and community and stakeholder input to provide valuable information about food security in St. Mary’s. The report also includes insight into long-term health solutions and presents strategies to address food security locally.

“Many of our community partners, including food pantries, farmers, and local businesses have worked tirelessly to improve reliable access to safe and nutritious food for our residents,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County health officer and HSMP co-chair. “The information and suggested strategies in this report will help our community support this effort so that all St. Mary’s children and adults will have food security.”

In 2021, the Environmental Health Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership launched a food security subcommittee to further address food security in the county. The team initially worked to develop the St. Mary’s Couty Food Access Map to help community members find food resources closest to them.

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