Severe Weather Could Ignite A Food Crisis This Winter

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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Extreme weather could cause millions of American households to go hungry this winter as snow storms will place further pressure on food supplies and raise prices, Axios reported Monday.

Arctic winds are expected to blow into the U.S. by Dec. 23, which could spur large winter storms across the East Coast and Central U.S., according to Axios. Such conditions could also hike costs for households that already struggle to feed themselves as they may cause yields of crops like wheat to fall. (RELATED: New Englanders Will Pay 65% More To Heat Their Homes This Winter)

Nearly 34 million Americans lived in houses that were “food-insecure” in 2021, meaning that they had “limited or uncertain access to adequate food,” according to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although the department increased food stamp benefits by 12.5% in late September as a response to soaring inflation, agencies that helped households stock up on food shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa Spiesman, COO at the nonprofit Food Rescue US, told Axios.

Almost 4% of households or roughly 8.6 million adults had a “very low” level of food security in 2021, according to the USDA.

A person shops at a supermarket in New York City on December 14, 2022. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

States with the highest average rates of food insecurity between 2019 and 2021, such as Texas and West Virginia, are likely to be affected by winter storms, Axios reported. Prices of basic foods have become inflated as exports of Ukrainian wheat, which accounted for about 10% of the world’s supply, have become disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Food prices have already broken records in 2022, leading some consumers to dramatically shift their habits and spend 71% more on groceries at dollar stores between Oct. 2021 and June 2022, according to The Wall Street Journal. Americans will face further economic hardship as they will also pay 17.2% more to heat their homes this winter compared to 2021, according to the energy watchdog National Energy Assistance Directors Association.

The USDA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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