According to The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), chronic hunger is when food intake regularly provides less than a person’s minimum energy requirements.
Causes of seasonal hunger include lack of access to food, high food prices, lack of food storage space, environmental instability, and lack of diversified crops.
People who are seasonally hungry are undernourished. Unlike others who experience famine, they have access to food but lack nutrients that supply all the vitamins and minerals they need to function well. As a result, they suffer from weak immune systems, and are more vulnerable to diseases and infections. Children who suffer from chronic hunger are particularly vulnerable, developing more slowly — both mentally and physically.
Agricultural and resource economist Robert Chambers writes that “seasonal hunger is the father of famine” and that “any development professional serious about poverty has…to be serious about seasonality.”