Press Releases

Foodbank shares new report that 14.7 percent of children are food insecure in the 8 counties it serves

Apr 28, 2016

A new study finds that 224,730 people in the eight Northeast Ohio counties served by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, including 78,300 children or 22.4 percent, are food insecure— meaning they don’t always have access to safe and nutritious food. In all, an average of 14.7 percent of the population in Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne Counties will face hunger this year, according to research released today by the Foodbank and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

The findings are from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2016 study, which estimates the rate of food insecurity for both the general population and, separately, for children under the age of 18.

“The information that Feeding America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Census Bureau provide with this study is what we report, but we wish it was better news,” said Dan Flowers, President & CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “We are actively engaged in the fight to prevent hunger in our community, and this data demonstrates a pressing challenge that is deserving of our local response. This data also reminds me that our ability to do the work that we do, hinges upon public support, and we hope this study moves you to get involved.”

Map the Meal Gap provides the following data for all eight counties separately in an interactive map format:

  • The percentage of each county population who is food insecure.
  • The percentage of the food insecure population in each county who qualify based on income for SNAP benefits (formally foods Stamps) and other federal nutrition programs.
  • The percentage of the food insecure population in each county who do NOT qualify for federal nutrition programs and often must rely on charitable food assistance programs and who also need better wages and employment opportunities to help them meet their basic needs.
  • The average price per meal in each county based on new research by The Nielsen Company.

The Map the Meal Gap 2016 interactive map allows policymakers, state agencies, corporate partners and individual advocates to develop integrated strategies to fight hunger on a local level.

Map the Meal Gap 2016 uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis. The study, commissioned by Feeding America, is a detailed analysis of the nation’s food insecurity and is supported by founding sponsor The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen. This is the sixth consecutive year that Feeding America has conducted the Map the Meal Gap study.

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

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