Food Insecurity – Map the Meal Gap 2015

The Foodbank, Inc. announced the release of the annual Map the Meal Gap study, which details the startling rate of food insecurity experienced by community members in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties.  Map the Meal Gap 2015 reveals that food insecurity affects the most vulnerable populations in the Miami Valley, including 24.7 percent (41,230) of children.

Food insecurity is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure of lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

“At The Foodbank, we are constantly working to provide up to date solutions for the Miami Valley community that we serve,” said Michelle L. Riley, CEO of The Foodbank. “Findings from Map the Meal Gap 2015 helps hunger-relief organizations like ours better quantify the economic issues that so many of our neighbors deal with.”

130,200 Miami Valley residents report food insecurity in the results from Map the Meal Gap 2015; this is an increase of 4,500 more people from 2014. Additionally, 41,230 of those reporting food insecurity this year are children, which is an increase of 1,840 from last year.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 is based on an analysis of statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The study, commissioned by Feeding America, is a detailed analysis of the nation’s food insecurity. An interactive map is available that allows viewers to explore the issue of hunger in Dayton and across the country. The map can be found at map.feedingamerica.org.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 provides unique insight into the prevalence of food insecurity in each county and congressional district in our nation,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “It will help policy makers and our elected officials understand the challenges they face in addressing hunger in the communities they serve.”

The study is supported by the Founding Sponsor Howard G. Buffett Foundation as well as the ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen. The food price data and analysis was provided by Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), a global provider of information and insights. The lead researcher is Dr. Craig Gundersen, professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory and member of Feeding America’s Technical Advisory Group.

County and congressional district food-insecurity details and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.


Life is Good! Jackie’s Story

DSCN0164Jacquelyn Stevenson (Jackie) is an active woman full of joy. At age 61 she always has a happy disposition and feels that “life is good!” Sitting on the front pew of the food pantry at Living Hope Church you would never know she has difficulties providing for herself and is disabled. Food stamps do not provide enough support to feed her the entire month. She views the services provided by the food pantry as a blessing. “I am grateful for whatever products I receive; Even if I received potatoes and croissants that would be great.” She believes that people who receive products from the food pantry and The Foodbank should “give thanks for what they give you.” Originally, she heard about the food pantry from former coworkers. One of these coworkers runs and organizes the food pantry.  As a woman of strong faith and conviction she feels blessed and believes in touching people’s lives in a positive way and “hopes people see Christ in me.”

Individuals such as Jackie who benefit from the food they receive from the food pantry are very thankful. The food pantry provides them with encouragement and inspiration. The kindness they receive from those working in the pantry is seen on the smiling faces of those that volunteer to serve those in our community.  Seniors aged 60 and over are particularly vulnerable to health implications of food security compared to other adult age groups. Your donations help ensure that elderly individuals such as Jackie don’t have to worry about not having food to eat.

If you would like to make a donation to help feed people like Jackie, click here.