Map the Meal Gap
A study released in 2012 by Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, shows that hunger continues to remain higher in New Mexico. Feeding America completed two studies focusing on hunger. The Map the Meal Gap study looked at overall hunger and found that more than 381,000 people or 18.5% of the population in New Mexico is experiencing hunger. The second study called “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2012 found that 1 in 4 children in New Mexico at risk of hunger..
The studies give a one-of-kind look at the occurrence of hunger and children living on the brink of hunger in the U.S. at a county and congressional district level. The report includes an interactive map that gives users the ability to look at the specifics of food insecurity in any county in the US.
In New Mexico, the two reports found that 381,000 or 18.5% of New Mexicans and 146,940 or 28.7% of children may not know where their next meal will come from. It reflects an increase from last year’s study that showed 137,720 of New Mexico children suffered from hunger and 336,430 adults. The childhood hunger report also found that of the 146,940 food insecure kids, almost 30% may not be eligible for federal nutrition programs like free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast.
New Mexico counties with the highest percentage of hungry children include:
• Luna – 43.6% (nearly half of all the children in the county)
• Guadalupe – 36.6%
• McKinley – 31.9%
• Torrance – 29.5%
• Valencia – 29.5%
• Of the 33 counties in the state, 30 counties had at least 20% of the children in those counties experiencing hunger
New Mexico counties with the highest percentages of hunger:
• Luna County – 27.1% (10th highest county in the US among Hispanics )
• McKinley County – 23.4% (6th highest county in US among Native Americans)
• San Juan County – 19.9%
• Guadalupe County – 19.7%
• Torrance County – 19.1%
View the interactive map below:
This is the second year that Feeding America has conducted the “Map the Meal Gap” study. The findings of “Map the Meal Gap” are based on statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis provided by The Nielsen Company (NYSE: NLSN), a global information and measurement company providing insights into what consumers watch and buy. The study was supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen. You can also find this data on Feeding America’s website.