Ohio trails only Missouri and Arkansas in the percentage of families forced to skip meals or eat less because of limited resources, according to a federal study released this week (Source: “Ohio among worst states nationally for food security, report finds,” Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 9, 2015).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture report found that 7.5 percent of Ohio households experienced “very low food security” from 2012 to 2014. That’s up from the state’s 6.4 percent average from 2009 to 2011, and worse than all but two states.
The national rate held steady during that period at 5.6 percent.
The USDA report also found that Ohio ranked sixth in the nation for food insecurity, more broadly defined as households facing uncertainty or limited ability to provide food. Between 2012 and 2014, 16.9 percent of Ohio households faced such struggles, up from 15.5 percent between 2009 to 2011.
The national food-insecurity rate was 14.3 percent between 2012 and 2014, down from 14.7 percent the previous three-year period.