National Poverty Center brief focuses on food insecurity in Detroit in the aftermath of the Great Recession

January 20, 2014

A new policy brief out of the National Poverty Center (NPC) evaluates recent changes in the prevalence of food insecurity, identifies key risk factors, and examines the use of public and private assistance programs designed to provide food assistance to low income households. The brief was authored by Sandra K. Danziger, Maria V. Wathen, Sarah A. Burgard, Kristin S. Seefeldt, Rick Rodems and Alicia Cohen from the University of Michigan, as well as Scott W. Allard, University of Chicago.

They authors found that, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, food insecurity remains quite prevalent among low-income households in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. They explain that income is not the only predictor of food insecurity and that a sizeable share of households with incomes over 200% above the poverty line are also food insecure. Other risk factors include low educational attainment, health limitations, and financial hardships.

Looking at trends overtime, the authors found that food insecurity among low-income households fell 8 percentage points from 2009 to 2011. They also note that use of public assistance programs was high in the period examined, with 60.4% of low-income households who reported being food insecure receiving SNAP and over 34.9% receiving private charitable food assistance.

The National Poverty Center conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research, trains emerging scholars, and informs public discourse on the causes and consequences of poverty. Its policy briefs are designed to summarize key academic research findings, highlighting important implications for policy.