Between 2000 and 2013, the suburbs in the country’s largest metro areas saw their low-income population grow twice as fast as primary urban cities. In 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that poverty increased more sharply in suburbs than in urban and rural counties (Parker et al., 2018). The rise in suburban poverty coincides with an increasing prevalence of food insecurity. The social and physical environments of suburban communities pose unique food-related challenges for the suburban poor. Awareness and stigmatization of food assistance programs, lack of transportation options, access to food pantries, and limited community gardens are examples of challenges that many families face. With a growing suburban population facing poverty and food insecurity, Extension is positioned to address the complex problem of suburban food insecurity through community-engaged research and education involving the areas of family and consumer sciences, community development, agriculture and natural resources, and 4-H youth development.



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