Pinpointing Hunger at Home
Food insecurity is everywhere. But just how close is it to home?
Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, says hunger exists in every zip code in the country.
As we seek out more collaboration in the hunger movement, resources like Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap are becoming increasingly important. This ongoing study, which began in 2011 and will be updated annually beginning this year, is particularly impactful because it is the only one of its kind to provide county-level estimates on US food insecurity.
Just like dredging up a weed in the garden, if we can address the root problems then we have a better chance of eradicating hunger for good, and for all.
Map The Meal Gap measures many common factors, including weekly food-budget short falls, demographics, poverty levels and unemployment rates. In addition to a traditional data report though, researchers input the information into an interactive digital map of the US where readers can drill down into figures based on state and county.
Click into Congressional District 2 in Pennsylvania— which includes both Montgomery and Philadelphia County, two of the nine counties Philabundance serves— and you’ll see these areas are in the top 10 highest rates of food insecurity in the country.
Can you imagine having to choose between eating a meal and heating your home? How do you tell your son or daughter they can’t have dinner because there’s an outstanding electric bill?
Using The Map to Fill The Gap
As part of the Feeding America network, we support its hope that “food banks, partner agencies, policy makers, business leaders, community activists and concerned citizens will use this information to fully engage in the fight against hunger.”
Be informed. Get involved. Stay engaged.
And while support doesn’t always mean financial support, this month you may want to consider making a donation. At Philabundance, any donation made before June 15 will be matched, up to $100,000, thanks to The Ceres Society— a generous group of women who are fighting hunger through advocacy and financial support.
Fight hunger twice as hard this month, and we may be one step closer to closing the gap.