6 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FOOD SECURITY



Get to Know Your Local Farmers

Regardless of what the economy is doing, there are farmers that are still growing their crops, year in and year out. Do you know who your local farmers are? Do you know what they grow and sell? If you log onto localharvest.org and put in your zip code, you’ll be able to see a list of farmers in your area. Everything from dairy farms, beef farmers, bee products and produce, you can find out where these local sources of food are. If your local growers have a tent up in the summer, selling food, stop by! Patronize them! They need the business and you need the food they grow! Many farms have CSA programs that you can become a member of, this is a great way to insure fresh produce and to support farmers as well! [1]


Free or Reduced Lunch at School

Students can receive free and low-cost meals at school. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) works to provide nutrition assistance to all kids by providing healthy, balanced meals at school. NSLP offers free and reduced-price lunches to low-income students throughout the school year. During the summer, the USDA-FNS also administers the Summer Food Service Program, which gives students access to healthy meals and snacks over break. [2]


Learn Food Preservation Methods

You can grow the best garden in the world, but if you don’t know how to preserve food, you’re going to be out of luck. Freezers are wonderful, but keep in mind that a loss of power will quickly reduce all of your frozen stash to puddles. Learn how to can! Making jam is a good place to start! Our family loves strawberry jam, we make it every year. Water-bath canning would be the next thing to learn, most fruit can be preserved with this method. Vegetables and meat require pressure-canning, and many people are afraid of the pressure canner. I can relate! It is a little un-nerving at first! But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a pro in no time! [3]


Local Food Banks

Food banks work to provide food to anyone who needs it. They may also be able to connect you to other resources and organizations that can help you get support for a variety of challenges that may accompany food insecurity. [3]


Improving Budgeting for Food

Some families need advice on how to budget for food and how to use their money in a more efficient way. This depends on the prices of available foods and this may vary with season, type of shop, etc. [5]


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a program that offers financial assistance for food. It’s administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) and is the largest supplemental nutrition program in the country. In January 2020, over 37 million people from nearly 19 million households participated in SNAP. By providing supplemental assistance for food, SNAP helps people meet their basic nutritional needs and helps many families lift themselves above the poverty line. [6]

[1] Morris, Kelly. "10 Ways to Improve Food Security for Your Family." Gently Sustainable, 8 December 2020, gentlysustainable.com/10-ways-to-improve-food-security-for-your-family/

[2] STEPS Media Team. "Resources and Support to Promote Food Security." STEPS, 8 December 2020. publicservicedegrees.org/public-assistance/food-security-hunger-help/

[3] Morris, Kelly. "10 Ways to Improve Food Security for Your Family." Gently Sustainable, 8 December 2020, gentlysustainable.com/10-ways-to-improve-food-security-for-your-family/

[4] STEPS Media Team. "Resources and Support to Promote Food Security." STEPS, 8 December 2020. publicservicedegrees.org/public-assistance/food-security-hunger-help/

[5] FAO Media Team. "The Family Nutrition Guide." FAO, 8 December 2020, fao.org/3/y5740e/y5740e05.htm

[6] STEPS Media Team. "Resources and Support to Promote Food Security." STEPS, 8 December 2020. publicservicedegrees.org/public-assistance/food-security-hunger-help/