The Food Insecurity Myth

President Joe Biden says 24 million Americans “suffer from food insecurity!”

News anchors were shocked that there is “food insecurity in the richest country in the world!” ABC hosts turned “insecurity” into “hunger.”

But in my new video, Rachel Sheffield, who researches welfare policy at the Heritage Foundation, explains, “Food insecurity is not the same thing as hunger. It just means that they had to rely on cheaper foods, store-brand alternatives … or reduce variety.”

Really? The alarm about “food insecurity” is based on that? Well, yes. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its fine print, admits that “for most food-insecure households, the inadequacies were in the form of reduced quality and variety of food rather than insufficient quantity.”

“They always want to create a crisis,” I say to Sheffield.

“Government programs want to keep themselves going,” she replies.

She’s talking about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Women, Infants and Children program; the National School Lunch Program and the other constantly growing handouts that make up America’s welfare system.

The biggest effect of these handouts is to harm the people they want to help. They harm people by making them dependent on government.

Before government’s War on Poverty began, Americans were steadily lifting themselves out of poverty. Year after year, the number of people living below the poverty line dropped.

That natural progress wasn’t good enough for us.

We (I include myself because I believed it, too) who wanted to reduce poverty declared “War on Poverty.” Welfare checks poured out. The poverty rate continued to drop for seven years. But then progress stopped.

What happened? Why did progress stop?

Because handouts taught people to be dependent.

Welfare payments did something remarkable. They created a new class of dependent people — a nearly permanent “underclass,” where generation after generation lives in poverty.

Today, government does things to perpetuate that, like claiming millions of Americans are “food insecure.” Charities raise money using the same language.

But the opposite is true.

“Americans consume too many calories,” says Sheffield. “Food insecure” adults are more likely to be obese.

When that became obvious, activists promoted a new myth: Poor people are overweight because they live in “food deserts,” neighborhoods where healthy foods are much less available. Michelle Obama talked about that a lot. She claimed some poor people had to take three busses to buy healthy food.


When government officials first labeled “food deserts,’ they deviously ignored small stores, only counting stores with more than $2 million in sales. It’s true that one “food desert” Obama visited didn’t have a supermarket. But it had multiple smaller businesses selling fruits and vegetables. Government officials just didn’t count them.

Now the media claim college students are food insecure.

But most college goers gain weight at school! At school!

It’s bizarre that when obesity is the bigger problem, government hypes food insecurity. But of course, “that creates the rationale for expanding food assistance programs, expanding the welfare system,” explains Sheffield.

Expanding welfare seems to be the government’s goal. “We’ve spent more on the War on Poverty than all the military wars combined in the United States without any success,” says Sheffield.

Really? More than all our wars combined? Well, yes. We’ve spent $23 trillion on the War on Poverty. So far.

“Actually,” says Sheffield, “it’s been a success in one way. It increases dependence on the federal government.” That’s what bureaucrats consider success.

The handouts are good for the people who dole out the money. They’re good for politicians who get to look like “good guys.”

But they’re bad for poor people.

Before government handouts began, private charities helped people escape poverty. They encouraged people to learn how to take care of themselves. Work gradually lifted people out of poverty. “Work also has a lot of other benefits,” Sheffield points out. “It builds a greater sense of community, gives people access to resources and friend networks that help them improve in their lives.”

Encouraging self-sufficiency is so much better than what government does.

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels:

7 thoughts on “The Food Insecurity Myth

  1. I wish every person in the USA would read this, and vote to stop the massive and detrimental handouts.

    1. But the government has changed the poverty level to be able to receive SNAP benefits from 120% below poverty level before the pandemic to 200% below poverty level after the pandemic.
      There is food insecurity among people on fixed incomes because prices have doubled along with everything else. But many now don’t qualify for SNAP. I neither agree nor do i disagree with John Stossel about this issue. Perhaps they have raised the poverty level because of all the illegal immigrants we are having to feed so yes they want them dependent so they can vote Dem later.

  2. Absolutely agree that Americans have been enslaved by the new Plantation Master: big government bureaucrats. Dependency robs people of self worth. Handouts merely reinforce the master -slave hierarchy. The big government elites like controlling the slaves on their Handout Plantation.
    America is better than this!
    Sadly, when I was told I was 100% disabled, Good deed doers immediately came to “my aid” and helped put me on food stamps & SSIdisability.
    now I am too infirm to go back to my profession as a teacher and will forever live & eventually die on the Welfare Plantation. These bureaucrats who play God with people should be horse whipped 39 lashes plus twenty one!!!

  3. I usually agree with what you have to say on issues but I totally disagree on The Food Insecurity issue. I live in AZ and we have a number of towns that do not have grocery stores in them. Some have convenience stores. The last several years some have gotten Dollar General stores which I am sure helped immensely. These small town people had to drive 10 to 30 miles or more to a grocery store before DG. The school lunch and breakfast programs are very valuable. I think children eat better with other children. Some of the schools have programs that provide food to children for over the weekends. These are paid for by donations. Schools could ask people to adopt children to pay for their meals.They could tell people the cost to feed a child and people could adopt so many meals. We do Dolly Parton’s book program in our town and it costs $25.00 per child for a whole year of the program.

    1. OK. So a town or two in ARIZONA don’t have a grocery store. Let’s hand out 23 TRILLION to the entire country….Makes a lot of sense…NOT!

  4. Unfortunately, realistic articles like this are pushed out of mainstream channels, leaving many stuck in the dark &/or the system.

    Although there’s been an increase in fraud awareness since 2016 (more so since 2020), news outlets and gov agencies still get away with bait & switch headlines.

    When truth is labeled “misinformation”, lies are considered “our truth”, and mainstream audiences don’t care to look much deeper, you know technology has become a detriment vs. an aid to society.

  5. I have been a victim of all the fear mongering. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have found your channel.
    It’s almost like I can breathe again and live free and happy. Thank you. Subscriber for life!

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