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Map the Meal Gap

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Updated: 8/15/2013 2:57 pm
Three Square Food Bank and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released a study showing 344,580 people – or 16.2 percent of the population - in southern Nevada are food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where they will find their next meal.

The findings result from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, which provides estimates on the rate of food insecurity at the county and congressional district level for the entire nation. Three Square is part of the Feeding America food bank network.

"Food insecurity is one of the leading public health challenges in the United States," said Dr. Craig Gunderson, professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois, an international food insecurity expert and the lead researcher of the "Map the Meal Gap" study.

"We undertook this research to demonstrate the extent and prevalence of food insecurity at both the county and congressional-district level. This data has the potential to redefine the way service providers and policy makers address food insecurity in the communities they serve.”

“As we take a look at these new numbers, it just reminds us that food-insecure families live in all neighborhoods and we have seen this in the maps year after year,” said Three Square Food Bank President and CEO Brian Burton. “With the update, Three Square sees a stronger correlation between hunger and housing – housing now being part of the MMG formula that also includes household demographics, medium income, unemployment and poverty.

“This update to the formula strengthens our message that hunger doesn’t happen in a vacuum and that now, more than ever, we will only be successful in ending hunger with the efforts and collaboration we put forth together as a community.”

The data also shows:

  • The cost of an average meal in Southern Nevada is $2.66 versus the national average which is at $2.67.
  • In Southern Nevada, we are missing about 56 million meals a year.
  • In Southern Nevada, food insecure people are missing about 5.5 meals per week over eight months during the course of a year.

This is the third year that Feeding America has conducted the “Map the Meal Gap” study.

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