The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011”, also reveals that there are children struggling with hunger in every county in America. Nationally, while one in six Americans overall are food insecure, the rate for children is much higher: nearly one in four children are food insecure.“Children are the most vulnerable members of our society, and the fact that almost 25% live in food insecure households is shocking,” said Sue Estee, Executive Director at Second Harvest North Central Food Bank. “Hungry children don’t develop properly, are more prone to illness and have lower grades in school.”
“Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity” provides the following data for north central Minnesota, by county, in an interactive map format:
- The percentage of the north central Minnesota population who is food insecure, by county.
- The percentage of children in north central Minnesota that is eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
- The percentage of children in by county in north central Minnesota that is not eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
An executive summary of the report can be found at: http://www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap/childsummary.
The study is an important tool because it provides critical information for developing strategies to alleviate child hunger. Of the children living in food insecure households, 68% of them are eligible for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and other federal nutrition programs like WIC.
By providing additional details about the face of child food insecurity at the county level, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011” will enable food banks, the community based agencies they serve and policy makers to redefine approaches in addressing needs of hungry children and their families and develop more effective policy solutions.
This research is supported by ConAgra Foods Foundation. The ConAgra Foods Foundation funded this research with the goal of advancing the collective understanding of child hunger in America, so that resources at the local and national level could be better leveraged to help children and families in need.
The research is based on “Map the Meal Gap 2011: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level”, supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen.