The District’s food insecurity rate is estimated to be at least 16 percent this year, up from 10.6 percent before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by the D.C. Office of Planning that analyzes national and D.C. data.
The increase interrupts the District’s downward trend after the Great Recession, when the number of residents lacking a secure food supply sank from 13 percent in 2008 to 10.6 percent in 2018. The food insecurity rate, which is based on June and July, is believed to be higher for children, older adults, undocumented people and those experiencing homelessness.
Nearly 150,000 D.C. residents have filed for unemployment insurance as business closures during the coronavirus pandemic have led to reduced hours and layoffs. And many residents have applied for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.