Each year, the Long Island Health Collaborative collects data about the health of individuals in Suffolk and Nassau Counties to create the Population Health Dashboard. Among a variety of other data, the LIHC collects information about food insecurity and access to nutrition on Long Island.
The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is a growing concern on Long Island, as many hardworking families struggle to avoid hunger.
The Surprising Truth About Food Insecurity in Long Island
In 2014, one in four adults living on Long Island faced food insecurity at one point during the year. Food insecurity is a complex problem that also impacts many children. Data collected by Feeding America shows that across Long Island, there are over 160,000 people who lack the ability to regularly feed themselves and their families.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Eligibility for nutrition assistance programs like SNAP is based on an individual’s or a family's income, but families do not need to be living in poverty to be considered food insecure. Surprisingly, 34% of people in Suffolk County who are food insecure, do not qualify for programs such as SNAP. In Nassau County, that number is 41% of ineligible people. This means that each day, over 63,000 people struggle without support to get enough food on the table.
Resources for Food Insecurity in Long Island
Members of the Long Island Health Collaborative aim to improve the lives of food insecure people by increasing their access to healthy, nutritious foods. If you or someone you know is struggling with food security, we encourage you to learn more about local organizations on Long Island
who are here to help.