Retrato da Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional em Belo Horizonte: Portrait of food and nutrition security in Belo Horizonte

This publication analyses the food insecurity situation in the city of Belo Horizonte, the capital of the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte is publicly recognized for its history of implementing public policies on food security. The data analyzed was collected through a public opinion survey representative of the population of Belo Horizonte, with data collection carried out in areas with high pedestrian flow distributed in 113 neighborhoods from 7 to 27 April 2022. The Research Group Food for Justice: Power, Politics and Food Inequalities in the Bioeconomy, based at the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), coordinated this data collection in cooperation with researchers from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), the Forum of Researchers on Food Sovereignty and Food Security of Belo Horizonte and the Undersecretariat of Food Security and Nutrition of the Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Fome Zero Institute (IFZ) and Center for the Study of Metropolis of the Universidade de São Paulo (CEM/USP). The results show that 55.7% of households experienced food insecurity, whether mild (30.1%), moderate (12.4%), or severe (13.2%). The findings also point out that some domiciles were more exposed to food insecurity than others, according to household features. For example, food insecurity was significantly higher in households headed by a single female person (63.3%), headed by someone who was racialized as brown (57.3%) or black (68.4%), or when the household had in its composition children up to 4 years old (66.9%) or children and teenagers from 5 to 17 years old (64.7%). The frequency of food insecurity is also significant in households whose per capita income is equivalent to up to 25% of the minimum wage (R$303.00, three hundred and three reais) (86.9%). It is possible to conclude that food insecurity is reproduced from the interweaving of inequalities, which requires a broad set of actions to overcome such asymmetries. It includes a state action that articulates different levels and spheres of power, with popular participation, and an intersectoral approach, which integrates and ensures rights and policies to the most vulnerable population.