New Study Shows Over 80,000 East Texas Children
Live At Risk of Hunger
Map the Meal Gap Child Food Insecurity 2011: Data at the Local Level for the First Time
(Tyler, Texas) August 25, 2011 – The East Texas Food Bank and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, today released a new study which reveals in 26 East Texas counties, 27 percent of children, that’s over 80,000, under the age of 18 are struggling with hunger.
The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011”, also reveals that there are children struggling with hunger in every county in America. Nationally, while one in six Americans overall are food insecure, the rate for children is much higher: nearly one in four children are food insecure.
“The study is an important tool because it provides critical information for developing strategies to alleviating child hunger,” said Dennis Cullinane, executive Director of the East Texas Food Bank. “This study will allow us to target those East Texas counties that have a high child food insecurity rates and a lack of participation in our Child Hunger Programs, such as: the BackPack Program, Summer Food Service Program, Kids Cafe and After School Snack Program.”
“Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity” provides the following data for the East Texas Food Bank’s 26 Counties: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Leo, Mario, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood, in an interactive map format:
- 27 percent, that’s over 80,000, of East Texas children who are food insecure.
- Of the 80,000 children who are food insecure, 78 percent of the children in East Texas are eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
- Of the 80,000 children who are food insecure, 22 percent of children in East Texas are not eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
An executive summary of the report can be found at: feedingamerica.org/mapthegap/childsummary
By providing additional details about the face of child food insecurity at the county level, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011” will enable food banks, the community based agencies they serve and policy makers to redefine approaches in addressing needs of hungry children and their families and develop more effective policy solutions.
This research is supported by ConAgra Foods Foundation. The ConAgra Foods Foundation funded this research with the goal of advancing the collective understanding of child hunger in America, so that resources at the local and national level could be better leveraged to help children and families in need.
The research is based on “Map the Meal Gap 2011: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level”, supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen.
About East Texas Food Bank
The East Texas Food Bank distributes approximately 19 million pounds of food each year to over 200 partner agencies in 26 East Texas counties. Our vision is for a hunger-free East Texas and our mission is to reduce hunger by providing food, support and education to those in need with passion and efficiency. Our purpose is to ensure that no one in East Texas is forced to go without food. The East Texas Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the Texas Food Bank Network. To learn more, please visit www.easttexasfoodbank.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/etfoodbank or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/etfoodbank .
About Feeding America
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.