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One In Three Families with Adult with A Disability Are ‘Food Insecure’

2013 December 30

grocery-cartBy Tricia of Allsup

A food-insecure household is one where one or more person is not getting enough to eat because there isn’t enough money for food.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that one-third of households with an adult who is not able to work because of a disability are food insecure. These households are almost three times more likely to be food insecure than households where none of the adults has a disability.

These findings are alarming but not surprising. For many people, a severe disability brings severe financial hardship.

If you have a disability that keeps you from working, you’re probably all too aware of how your disability affects your finances. Maybe you have applied and are waiting for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

You may be grappling with both a loss of income and the extra expenses that go along with managing an illness or health condition.

In fact, the USDA study found that, even in households with moderate incomes, those with disabilities often found it difficult to afford to buy enough food. This is most likely because budgets are stretched thin by medical bills, prescription drugs and other expenses related to the disability.

Seek Help For Food Needs

If you or your loved ones are going to bed hungry, seek help. There are many resources to turn to. A good place to start is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. If you qualify, you’ll get a debit card to use at the grocery store to buy food, up to a set dollar amount each month.

Food pantries also can be a great source of help. They’re usually run by churches or community organizations, and most of their food comes from donations. They stock items such as canned goods, cereal and sometimes milk or meat.

The National Hunger Hotline can refer you to food pantries in your area and government food programs. Call (866) 3-HUNGRY, (866) 348-6479, or visit the website at

The Allsup Disability Life Planning Service® also works to connect people with disabilities to resources that may help with basic needs, such as food, housing, utilities and healthcare. To learn more about the service, call (888) 271-1173.

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