Ithaca is a city filled with bustling restaurants and the surrounding region is a landscape of farms and orchards. The food and drink industry is one of the leading tourist attractions in the Finger Lakes region. But not everyone has access to this high-quality food, and there are many members of our community who struggle to find affordable, nutritious food.
Food insecurity can exist when an individual, community, or region has limited food access or availability.
Access includes affordability and preference, such as religion or dietary restrictions.
Availability includes both the type of food available and how much food exists. For example, some people buy inexpensive, unhealthy food because that is their only option (they might live in a food desert).
When issues involving food access and availability arise in a community, individuals and families may have to choose between buying food or paying for resources they need such as utilities, transportation, medical care, housing, and education.