The United States Department of Agriculture released a new report  today showing that 17.1 percent of households in North Carolina are experiencing food insecurity. The food insecurity rate for North Carolina is 2.4 percentage points above the national average. With this new data, policymakers should be reluctant to create barriers to food assistance and instead focus on job creation. Last November, research  by the Budget and Tax Center showed that the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)—previously known as food stamps—stemmed the negative effects of unemployment for more than one million North Carolinians over the last several years. Although SNAP is funded by the federal government, the state of North Carolina and its 100 counties play a crucial role in supporting anti-hunger programs for the more than 636,000 households facing food insecurity in North Carolina.