Map the Meal Gap
New Mexico ranked in the top ten for overall hunger and fourth for child hunger according to Feeding America’s 2015 Map the Meal Gap report. The 2015 release of the study shows there are more than 145,000 hungry children in New Mexico with nearly 30% or 1 in 3 children at risk of hunger. The report also shows that more than 360,000 are at risk of hunger or nearly 18% of the population in the state.
Melody Wattenbarger, President and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank said, “It should continue to concern everyone in our state that 1 in 3 children are at risk of hunger. Studies show childhood hunger contributes to delayed development, increases a child’s chance for chronic health conditions such as anemia and asthma, and affects their behavior and ability to perform well in school. With continued stats like this, we invite our community to become more involved with our work. With your help we can solve this issue, but we need your support from our statewide community to tackle this issue together.”
Over the past five years, Roadrunner Food Bank’s national organization, Feeding America, has released the annual study to measure hunger and the gap of meals by state, county, and congressional district.
The annual Map the Meal Gap report also estimates the meal gap by state and county as well as the food budget shortfall for low-income households. The 2015 report showed New Mexico’s meal gap is 63,996,616 translating into a food budget shortfall of $170,231,000. The average cost per meal in New Mexico is $2.66 according to the report.
The top five New Mexico counties with the highest rates of hunger overall and for children are below. Luna County ranked as the hungriest county in New Mexico among children, while McKinley ranks as having the highest rate of overall county.
Luna – 37.6%
Taos – 34.6%
Cibola & Torrance – 32%
Taos – 31%
McKinley – 24.3%
Luna – 20.6%
San Juan – 19.3%
Sierra – 18.3%
Torrance – 18.1%
View the meal gap for any New Mexico county HERE.
Map the Meal Gap 2015 is a detailed analysis of hunger done by Feeding America and is the only study available that provides county–level data of hunger in the United States. The 2015 analysis was developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen for Feeding America. Hunger rates are based on a state-level model that accounts for the population in need of food at the county and congressional district levels. Feeding America worked in collaboration with Nielsen to arrive at estimates for food-cost variation by county. Results were reviewed by the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group in order to ensure accuracy and promote transparency.