A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Study reveals children in Central, Eastern Kentucky more likely to face hunger than overall population

God’s Pantry Food Bank announced the release of Map the Meal Gap 2020, the latest report by Feeding America on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level.

It is the only study that provides food insecurity data at the local level.

Map the Meal Gap 2020 reveals that food insecurity exists in every county in God’s Pantry Food Bank service area. It also shows that children are more likely to be food insecure, with the child food insecurity rate at 21.5 percent compared to 16.5 percent for the overall population for Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Overall food insecurity in Central and Eastern Kentucky ranges from a low of 11 percent of the population in Scott County up to 24.8 percent in Harlan County. This data does not reflect the impact on food insecurity as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sadly, across Central and Eastern Kentucky food insecurity remains a major concern. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has likely increased the need,” said Michael Halligan, CEO, God’s Pantry Food Bank. “The Food Bank has been doing this work for 65 years, we are committed to feeding those who find themselves needing access to food, and will be here until the work is done.”

God’s Pantry Food Bank is a member of Feeding America’s hunger-relief network comprised of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that together provide food assistance to more than 40 million people in the U.S. struggling with hunger. God’s Pantry Food Bank distributed 39.7 million pounds of food in 2019 to more than 200,000 recipients who needed food assistance.

Map the Meal Gap 2020 uses data from the Department of Agriculture, indicators of food insecurity (poverty, unemployment and homeownership), Current Population Survey, food price data and analysis provided by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. The study is supported by Conagra Brands Foundation and Nielsen.

The study’s findings underscore the extent of need that remains in communities in Central and Eastern Kentucky and across the U.S., despite national measures from the USDA that indicate overall improvement.

This is the 10th consecutive year that Feeding America has conducted the Map the Meal Gap study.

The Map the Meal Gap 2020 interactive map allows policymakers, state agencies, corporate partners, food banks and advocates to develop integrated strategies to fight hunger on a community level.

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.

From God’s Pantry Food Bank

Related Posts

Leave a Comment