A new study conducted with help from University of Utah Population Health Sciences, Research Assistant Professor Nasser Sharareh shows that immigrants in the U.S. are at a high risk of experiencing food insecurity.

Sharareh joined KSL NewsRadio to discuss the study, beginning by defining food insecurity.

“So, food insecurity is defined as the lack of access to food for an active healthy life,” he said.

Sharareh explains that one factor in conducting this research was experiencing food insecurity himself.

“I’m an immigrant myself and have experienced food insecurity during my life in the U.S. so I know how difficult and complex this problem is.”

He says that around 45 million people in the U.S. are immigrants. Therefore, addressing the issue of food insecurity will have a big effect on public health in the country.

The first major finding of the study was having the identification of a U.S. immigrant naturally puts those individuals at a higher risk.

“We found that simply being a known citizen puts individuals at risk of food insecurity,” Sharareh said.

Second, the study found that although government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, exist, many immigrants may not utilize them because they fear deportation or do not qualify.


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