Food security means access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.
ERS plays a leading role in Federal research on food security and food security measurement in U.S. households and communities. ERS provides data access and technical support to social science scholars to facilitate their research on food security. ERS research focuses on:
- Food security in U.S. households (see annual report below).
- Food security's impact on the well-being of children, adults, families, and communities.
- Food security's relationship to public policies, public assistance programs, and the economy.
ERS created several interactive charts and graphs about food security and food insecurity. See: Interactive Charts and Highlights.
The ERS extramural research program titled “25 Years of Food Security Measurement: Answered Questions and Further Research” is a collaboration with Tufts University and the University of Missouri. The purpose of this research program is to foster research related to the past 25 years of U.S. household food security research and encourage ideas for feasible evidence-based improvements that are forward looking. The program currently has an open Request for Proposals (proposals are due February 2021).
In 2015, ERS released the 20th year of statistics on household food security in the U.S. ERS also sponsored a conference to provide an opportunity to reflect on the contributions and impact of the household food security measure. The opening session of the October 21, 2015 conference, titled "Reflecting on 20 Years of Measuring Household Food Security in the United States", is available on video.
A panel discussion followed the opening session. The panel included former staff from ERS and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) who were instrumental in developing the food security measure, along with outside researchers who played key roles.