An estimated 13.7 million U.S. households were food insecure last year—and this number has only grown during the pandemic, with nearly 1 in 4 households experiencing food insecurity in 2020.
Today on the show, guest host Yuri Rashkin hosts a vital and timely roundtable about food insecurity in our local community with a panel of guest experts including professor emerita Lydia Zepeda, Kris Tazelaar from Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, and Nick Heckman from Public Health Madison & Dane County.
They discuss a variety of issues related to food insecurity, including the importance of the SNAP and WIC federal programs in combating hunger, the intersections of food insecurity and health (with nutritious foods often being the most expensive), racial inequities in food access, and responding to poverty shaming and the bootstrap myth.
In the end, our guests argue, hunger is an underlying economic issue and the only way to address it long-term is to advocate for policy changes that address low wages and benefits, access to affordable medical care and housing, and the high cost of education and student loan debt. As Lydia Zepeda says, “There is plenty of food out there—this is an issue of political will.”