Healthify Blog

Food Insecurity: How Major Cities Are Managing $77.5 Billion

Studies have shown that there is a significant link between food insecurity and higher health care costs in the US. Those with food insecurity were found to incur an extra $1,863 in health care expenditures ($77.5 billion in additional health care expenses annually). And while we have previously written about the negative health effects of food insecurity and combatting food deserts in our blog, Healthify Insights, we have yet to dive deeply into the efforts that have been made to address this costly issue. As such, we have compiled fours years worth of Healthify's food insecurity data, enriched with data from the US Census Bureau and other publicly available sources, to understand the correlation between food insecurity and other socioeconomic factors across three metropolitan cities: Seattle; New York; and Philadelphia. Our report also investigates how food insecurity is being managed across these cities.

For a full copy of the 2017 Healthify Food Insecurity Report, click here. 

Food Insecurity Report Findings

Food.Insecurity.Poverty SDOH

      Key Findings

  • Food insecurity and poverty: Philadelphia has the lowest household income, highest poverty rate, and the highest unemployment rate when compared to New York, Seattle, and the national average. They also experienced the highest rates of food insecurity.
  • Food insecurity, race and city diversity: Minorities continue to experience food insecurity at much higher rates than white individuals. Seattle, the most homogeneously white city, experienced the least amount of food insecurity, while New York, the most diverse city, and Philadelphia, whose population majority identifies as black or African American, experience higher rates of food security.

The data found in the 2017 Health Food Insecurity Report is only a snapshot of the US; rural communities experience higher levels of food insecurity than urban ones do. What the report aims to do is make the 14% of all Americans struggling with food security tangible. It is not just individuals’ health at stake; it’s the health of a nation. By reducing food security and improving other social determinants of health in the US, we can reduce the cost of care and improve health outcomes.

For a full copy of the 2017 Healthify Food Insecurity Report, click here.




Topics: social determinants of health food insecurity