Coming Soon!
Food Insecurity
A Reference Handbook
by William D. Schanbacher and Whitney Fung Uy
September 2023, 350pp, 6 x 9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7839-8
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7840-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

According to federal government surveys and data, about 1 in 10 Americans live in a state of food insecurity in which they have inadequate regular access to food necessary for basic nutrition and health.

Examines the issue of food insecurity in the United States, including the various economic, social, political, and cultural factors that drive the problem.

Social welfare agencies, schools, food banks, and other organizations have all put forth efforts to combat food insecurity, but it remains a serious risk for millions of poor Americans today. Food Insecurity: A Reference Handbook examines why that is the case.

It begins with a history of food insecurity in America, dating back to the country’s origins, through to the Great Depression, and into the present day. It also delves into the problems and controversies related to food insecurity, such as urban food deserts, substance abuse issues, and income inequality. One of the most valuable aspects of the book is that it surveys the history of food insecurity in a manner that helps the reader identify key issues in an easy-to-understand fashion. Finally, the perspectives chapter allows a broad range of voices to be heard, allowing crucial, diverse perspectives to round out the author’s expertise.


  • Includes graphs, charts, and primary documents offering different contextual vantage points for understanding the severity of the issue
  • Offers insightful personal and scholarly perspectives on food insecurity, people who suffer from malnutrition or poor nutrition, and efforts to help them
  • Profiles influential individuals and organizations working to combat food insecurity
  • Identifies and explains key events, controversies, and other social and political factors influencing policies and programs meant to reduce food insecurity
William D. Schanbacher, PhD, is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa. He is author of The Politics of Food and Food as a Human Right and editor of The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions. He is co-founder of the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group, an innovative research collaborative that advances scholarship, community engagement, and curriculum in food sovereignty and food justice.

Whitney Fung Uy is a PhD graduate from the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa, FL. She is an applied, mixed methods researcher with interests in food security, sustainable food systems, and health disparities. As a previous food banker and food systems advocate, she serves on a number of coalitions to tackle food insecurity, including the Florida Food Policy Council, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and Closing the Hunger Gap.

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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