West Texas Food Bank

New Map the Meal Gap Numbers Show Impact of Boom on Hunger

New Map the Meal Gap Numbers Show Impact of Boom on Hunger June 12, 2013

STUDY: BOOM IS DRIVING DOWN HUNGER IN THE BASIN BUT CRITICAL CHILD FOOD INSECURITY NUMBERS REMAIN HIGH

One in four children in Ector County and one in five in Midland County are at risk

ODESSA, June 11, 2013 -- New Map the Meal Gap numbers for 2011 are out and the data shows both good news and bad news for the West Texas Food Bank’s 19-county service area. Map the Meal Gap is an ongoing nationwide study of county-by-county overall food insecurity and child food insecurity rates compiled by Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit food distribution organizations.

Let’s start with the good news: Presidio County, one of the hardest hit counties in the state of Texas for hunger statistics, shows signs of improvement: the Overall Food Insecurity rate dropped by 200 people. And while the Child Food Insecurity rate only dropped by four-tenths of a percent, that translates to 30 fewer children without regular, healthy meals to count on each day.

The Permian Basin, no doubt bolstered by a strong jobs economy, also showed signs of welcome improvement, the Overall Food Insecurity rates in Ector and Midland Counties both dropped (a 1.3 percent drop in Ector and 0.9 percent drop in Midland), as did the Child Food Insecurity rates (1.8 percent drops in both Ector and Midland), though the overall child hunger statistics are still tragic: one in four children in Ector County and one in five children in Midland County are still at risk of hunger.

In fact, the bad news still looms. For the state of Texas and the 19-county WTFB service area, hunger is growing. The West Texas Food Bank now sees they must feed 8,000 more adults and 2,000 more children than they did in 2010. And even in our counties where frontline hunger fighters at pantries and kitchens are seeing fewer adults, they are suddenly seeing more kids—or vice versa.

It’s impossible to say why certain numbers are going up or down because this survey doesn’t drill down that specifically—which is why the Food Bank’s work this summer on the 2013 Hunger Study is so critical (the results of that work will be available in the fall 2014). Until then, the Food Bank can use these numbers to remind the community that hunger is here and then bolster programs that target the hardest hit like, for example, child feeding programs.

For a complete list of all the counties around the state and nation and to see where your county falls see the Map the Meal Gap chart from Feeding America here: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap.aspx?s_src=E13631AEA&utm_source=st&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=E13631AEA

Use the drop down menu to compare rate changes from 2009, 2010 and now 2011.

MAP THE MEAL GAP 2011 QUICK SUMMARY

TEXAS
Food insecurity in Texas has grown from 2010 to 2011
Overall 2011- 18.5%
Overall 2012- 18.7%
Child 2011- 27.1%
Child 2012- 27.6%

FAR WEST TEXAS
Food insecurity in West Texas Food Bank 19-county service area has grown from 2010 to 2011
Overall 2010 - 16.9% (over 200,000 people)
Overall 2011- 17.2% (over 208,000)
Child 2010- 30.8% (over 106,000 children)
Child 2011- 30.9% (over 108,000 children)

PERMIAN BASIN

Good News: Food insecurity in actually dropped in the Basin from 2011 to 2012.
Bad News: 1 in 4 children in Ector County and 1 in 5 children in Midland County are still at risk of hunger.

ECTOR
Overall 2010 Ector- 16% (over 21,000 people)
Overall 2011 Ector- 14.7% (over 19,000)
Child 2010 Ector- 26.8% (over 10,000 kids)
Child 2011 Ector- 25% (almost 10,000 kids)

MIDLAND
Overall 2010 Midland- 14.1% (over 18,000)
Overall 2011 Midland- 13.2% (over 17,000)
Child 2010 Midland- 22.3% (over 8,000 kids)
Child 2011 Midland- 20.5% (over 7,600 kids)

BIG BEND
Food insecurity has gone down in Presidio County, one of the top 5 hungriest counties in Texas.
PRESIDIO
Overall 2010- 22.3% (over 1,700 people)
Overall 2011- 19.8% (over 1,500 people)
Child 2010- 36.6% (830 children)
Child 2011- 36.2% (800 children)

Adult food insecurity still sneaking upward in Brewster County even while the Child Food Insecurity rate fell.
BREWSTER
Overall 2010- 14.6% (1310 people)
Overall 2011-14.7% (1340 people)
Child 2010- 23.5% (410 children)
Child 2011- 23.2% (400 children)

Overall Adult Food Insecurity went down in Jeff Davis County but Child Food Insecure rate went up.
JEFF DAVIS
Overall 2010- 14.2% (330 people)
Overall 2011- 11.5% (270 people)
Child 2010- 27.6% (100 children)
Child 2011- 26.5% (110 children)