There is no shortage of crises today. We're on the verge of so many disruptions environmentally, politically, and economically that it's hard to keep track. While we struggle to get Covid under control, clear supply chains, control energy costs, and fill millions of open jobs, there is another crisis lurking in the shadows that might be affecting more people than once thought.
Food insecurity is becoming increasingly too familiar these days. As the gap between the "haves" and "have nots" widens, more and more Americans are finding it harder to meet ends daily. Economists and advocacy groups are sounding the alarm bells as food insecurity is on the rise in U.S. To compound matters, rising food prices are not helping the situation. Families are missing meals because their paychecks do not go as far as they once did a few years ago. The middle class is being hollowed out by inflation. We asked voters if they felt the Biden Administration's failure to control inflation had caused them or family members to miss meals because of the increased cost of food prices, and the results were shocking.
Our survey results reaffirmed troubling data relating to food insecurity and food prices. The Zogby Poll® found food insecurity is being experienced by almost a third (29%) of respondents, while two thirds said no, and 5% were not sure. It's quite astounding to think nearly three in ten likely voters said they had or family members missed meals due to food price inflation.
The following are demographic highlights from the data:
Voters in the South (35% yes/61% no) were much more likely to have skipped (or family members skipped) meals due to higher food prices than voters in the East (25% yes/70% no) and West (26% yes/69% no). Younger voters under the age of 50 (37% yes/57% no) were much more likely than older voters aged 50+ (22% yes/74% no) to have a skipped a meal because of food price inflation. Likely voters aged 18-24 (42% yes/49% no) were also more likely to experience missing meals because of higher food prices, due to inflation, compared to only 11% of likely voters aged 65+.
Women (32% yes/63% no) were slightly more likely than men (26% yes/69% no) to have skipped a meal because of food price inflation, as were non-college educated likely voters (34% yes/60% no) compared to college educated likely voters (23% yes/74% no).
Republican voters (34% yes/61% no) were more likely to have skipped meals or had family members miss meals because of an increase in the cost of food prices than surveyed Democrats (24% yes/72% no) and Independents (31% yes/63% no).
While the Biden administration has referred to empty shelves and higher food prices as "high class problems," our polling found many groups favorable to Democrats-African Americans (40% yes/57% no) and Hispanics (38% yes/54% no) were more likely to experience food insecurity due to higher food prices than Whites (27% yes/69% no).
Not surprising, it was expected that lower income respondents (<$25K annual household income-43% yes/52% no) would have experienced food insecurity. Ironically, nearly a quarter of survey respondents in the upper income bracket ($100k+-23% yes/72% no) experienced skipping a meal due to higher food prices.
Other respondents most likely to have missed meals because of the increased cost of food were urban voters (29% yes/66% no), especially urban men (39% yes/56% no) and rural women (40% yes/55% no).
Food prices are not the only commodities, goods, and services to experience inflation, it's also healthcare, tuition, rent, homes, cars, and energy. These commodities, goods, and services account for almost all the average person's paycheck. While the Biden Administration has said inflation is temporary, many economists and analysts see inflation as here to stay. The massive amounts of stimulus injected into the system are driving up prices and making people quit jobs, which is contributing to labor and food shortages. The saying goes, "if you break it, you own it." President Biden needs to recognize it first before he can own it, and then fix it.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
10/08/21 - 10/10/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 896 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 896 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.