Food banks in America experience surging demand: 'No sign of it slowing down any time soon'

“Hunger is the physical sensation of not having enough food,” said Cassidie Carmen Bates, government and public affairs manager of Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano in California.

Bates told Fox News Digital on Friday that food insecurity means a lack of access to four essential ingredients: 1) affordable food; 2) nutritious food; 3) accessible food ; and 4) sufficient food. 

AS INFLATION SOARS, FOOD BANKS STRUGGLE TO MEET HIGHER DEMAND AND SKYROCKETING PRICES

It is the lack of available financial resources for food at the household level. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, the national overall food insecurity rate was 10.9%, which was the lowest in 20 years, according to the report. 

A volunteer is shown packing onions in the warehouse of the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2021. 

A volunteer is shown packing onions in the warehouse of the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2021.  (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

The rate slightly increased the following year in 2020 to 11.8%. 

That translates to an estimated 38.3 million individuals living in a household that is defined as food insecure.

But the food insecurity levels differ “substantially” across the population as well as according to race and ethnicity, according to the Feeding America report

The “counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural.”

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