Map the Meal Gap
The annual Map the Meal Gap 2013 study released on June 10,2013, by Feeding America, finds that New Mexico is ranked as the most food insecure state among children in the United States. The 2013 study shows that 30.6% or 156,930 children are experiencing hunger. Three years ago when the first Map the Meal Gap study was released, New Mexico was at 27.3% for childhood hunger and ranked in 11th place. The state’s ranking for childhood hunger has continued to worsen.
The study also looked at the overall population and its rate of hunger. The 2013 Map the Meal Gap study also continues to show an increase in hunger among all New Mexicans with 417,780 people or 20.1% of the population who do not always know where they will find their next meal. The latest study shows New Mexico ranked as the 2nd in the nation for hunger.
Melody Wattenbarger, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “The results from this study are appalling. It’s shocking to learn that a third of our children aren’t able to access enough food to eat on a regular basis. Hunger continues to be a silent issue in our community and more people need to get involved and take action. We want our children to do better in school, yet they don’t have the meals necessary to fuel their bodies and perform well.”
This is the third year that Feeding America has performed a study to evaluate and map the meal gap by state and county. The meal gap in New Mexico is 68,109,613 and the overall food budget shortfall is $168,911.840. The budget shortfall and meal gap of meals is up 20% from just two years ago.
Wattenbarger said, “Hunger is at an all-time high right here in our own state. All of us should be completely horrified at these latest figures. As a community, more support is clearly essential. Not only do we need to ensure charitable hunger programs have the tools needed to respond, but we also need to appropriately fund and protect federal hunger programs such as SNAP, WIC and others. We can no longer ignore that so many people suffer from hunger. This shouldn’t be a silent issue any more.”
Top five New Mexico counties with the highest rate of hunger among the overall population and children:
Luna – 25.4%
McKinley – 21.2%
Guadalupe and Mora – 19.4%
Torrance – 18.7%
Cibola – 18.2%
Luna – 43.2%
Guadalupe – 36.8%
McKinley – 30.5%
Cibola – 30.1%
Hidalgo – 28.9%
Bernalillo County has the largest number of hungry people with 112,090 or 17.1% followed by Doña Ana County at 18.1% or 37,280 people.
To Map the Meal Gap in any New Mexico County, visit www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap or use the map below by clicking on a state. Then click the county you want to view for updated hunger figures.
Click the interactive map below: