Photo: bankbryan (Flickr)
A new report reveals that food insecurity exists in every county of Indiana.
Map the Meal Gap 2017 was released last week by Feeding America. The report documents the cost and accessibility of food at both the county and congressional district level using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other food price data and analysis is provided by the global information company Nielsen.
The report found that average food insecurity across all counties is 14.4 percent.
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry Executive Director Emily Weikert Bryant says counties with lower percentages still need to work at combating food insecurity.
“You’re still looking at a good number of people,” Weikart Bryant says. “You know, for Hamilton County, the food insecurity for adults is only at 9 percent, but that’s still more than 26,000 people.”
The report also says this year, food-insecure individuals had about $15.40 less than they needed to eat 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. This number is higher than last year’s by 50 cents, despite the fact that the cost of groceries has fallen.
Weikert Bryant says the problem is not that more people are becoming food insecure. The problem is that people often have more difficulty achieving food security once they’ve become insecure.
“There’s still about the same number of individuals who are food insecure that we were seeing in previous years,” Weikhart Bryant says. “But that gap for them to catch up to people who have the resources and that are able to provide food for their families, that gap is growing.”
The report estimates that just over 950,000 Hoosiers are at risk of hunger.