People are said to experience food insecurity when they do not have access to enough food for all family members to live a healthy, active life. An annual report finds almost 14 percent of the population of Indiana is food insecure, which is slightly below the national average.
The county where the Map the Meal Gap report found the highest rate of food insecurity is Marion County, at 18.3 percent. The county with the lowest measured rate is Hamilton County, at 8.8 percent.
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry executive director Emily Weikert Bryant says many Hoosiers who experience food insecurity are also ineligible for federal nutrition programs.
“To look at all the food insecure Hoosiers, all 911,000 of them, about 31 percent of them currently aren’t able to access any of the federal nutrition programs,” Weikert Bryant says.
Those include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, and free and reduced lunches.
Weikert Bryant says, for example in Hamilton County, more than 60 percent of children identified as experiencing food insecurity do not qualify for federal food assistance.
“In terms of numbers we’re still talking about a large number of people, it’s about one in seven in Indiana and in terms of child food insecurity numbers it’s about one in five,” she says.
The report also measured the number of Hoosiers ineligible for federal nutrition assistance, in Indiana – about 30 percent.