Do you know that almost one in four children in Itasca County is at risk of being hungry? A new study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011”, also reveals that there are children struggling with hunger in every county in America. In the region of north central Minnesota that Second Harvest serves, 23.4% of the children live in households that 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. 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 data on participation in federal assistance programs for north central Minnesota, by county, in an interactive map format. The study also informs us of the numbers of children in households that are food insecure but not eligible for government programs. These struggling working families rely on the food bank and food shelves for food when they are facing a choice of food or rent, or food or heat.
Continued high unemployment and low wages for working people contribute to the growing numbers of people coming to food shelves for assistance. Second Harvest works hard every day to help provide food to fill the missing meal gap for hungry people in our community. You can get involved in the fight against hunger by checking out Second Harvest’s website at www.secondharvestncfb.com or calling 218.326.4420. Help us end hunger for kids, seniors and struggling working families.
Sue Estee, Second Harvest Executive Director.