Prairie View A&M University is working to find a cure for a real-world problem: food insecurity. The university was recently awarded a $5.3 million grant from the Texas A&M Chancellors Research Initiative to start the Integrated Food Security Research Center (IFSRC). The center will provide research, academic, and outreach effort to study the causes of food insecurity, the impacts of this issue, and finding ways to alleviate the lack of food in certain communities, specifically, communities of color.
Food Security is an issue that affects persons on a national and international scale. World-wide, it has been estimated that 1 out of 9 persons are food insecure. Compared to the national average, the state of Texas ranked among the highest rates of food insecurity in the Unites States at about 14% in 2017. In 2015, a study indicated that 3 counties in the State of Texas; Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant, ranked nos. 4th, 6th, and 10th respectively in the United States in the number of food insecure persons.
A further examination of the food insecurity data from the USDA showed that demographically, African Americans (22.5%) followed by Hispanics (18%) had the highest levels of food insecurity in the United States.
Given the demographics of food insecurity, the history Prairie View A&M University and the mission of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, this campus has the historical and mission obligated duty to address issues related to food insecurity as many of our stakeholders are directly affected by this condition.