August 30/Lenexa, Kan./Drovers Cattle Network -- Data released by the USDA last year estimated that 50 million Americans are food insecure, including 17 million children. The Community Food Network and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, has released a study providing the first detailed look at food insecure children who may be receiving assistance from a food bank, federal programs and other sources. The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity,” indicates that despite programs to help, many of those children still do not have enough food to be healthy.

This new study is important, Feeding America officials say, because it shows a significant number of children at risk of hunger in every county across the nation. The study is the latest data added to the Map the Meal Gap 2011 report released earlier this year. It provides information that has not been available previously, including child food insecurity rates for each county and congressional district.

Previously, food insecurity data for children was only available at the state level in the USDA’s annual report. The study further analyzes each county’s child food insecurity rate to determine their family’s income eligibility for federal nutrition assistance. This data has the potential to redefine the way service providers and policy makers address areas of need, officials said.

The study was supported by ConAgra Foods Foundation, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and Nielsen.


From the August 30, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.