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People in Texas are 'food insecure'




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April 17, 2015 | 3,691 views | 7 comments

"Nearly 18% of Texans Struggle to Avoid Hunger; Feeding Texas requests $18 million."

Austin, TX -- Feeding Texas announced today the release of the annual Map the Meal Gap study, which documents the startling rate of food insecurity experienced by Texans in every county. The study found that 17.6% percent of the overall state population -- including nearly two million children -- struggled to avoid hunger in 2013.

“This study demonstrates that low-income Texans are still fighting to benefit from our economic miracle,” said Celia Cole, CEO at Feeding Texas. “Hunger continues to strike hard-working families in every county in Texas. We are all affected, and therefore we all bear the responsibility to solve this problem.”

Reducing food insecurity would not just improve individual lives, it would bring a great benefit to the state of Texas in increased economic productivity and lower health and education costs, according to a separate study by The Perryman Group. The study also found that every dollar invested in food bank efforts to fight hunger returns $3 to the state of Texas in overall benefits.

“Food insecure people are costlier to educate, as well as to care for,” said Cole. “By reducing food insecurity, we reduce these costs to the state.”

Feeding Texas is requesting $18 million from the Texas Legislature this session for Feeding with Impact, a statewide initiative of its twenty-one member food banks that combines fresh produce with nutrition education to improve dietary health.

Nationally, Texas was found to be one of the most food insecure states, with over 4.6 million individuals affected. California was the only state with a higher population of food insecure individuals. Other local findings include:
Texas ranked 7th in the nation among child food insecurity rates.
Three Texas counties appeared in the top 10 counties nationally with the highest populations of food insecure individuals: Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties.

Nationally the average cost of a meal was $2.79; the Texas average was $2.45. The price of food in Texas counties varied drastically, from $1.97 in Maverick County (the lowest in the nation) to $3.09 in Chambers County.
A surprising number of food insecure Texans had incomes above the threshold for public nutrition assistance. Collin County was the largest county in which a majority of food insecure individuals were not income-eligible for crucial programs like SNAP, WIC and school meals.

Map the Meal Gap is based on an analysis of statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study, commissioned by Feeding America, was supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen.
 
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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
April 17, 2015 5:08pm
 
Ditto. Where the hell is all the $$ going?!? They get WIC and a free lunch program, and all kinds of other help. Of course, how many times have you stood in line behind a young girl with kids (no ring) paying with her Star... More ›

 
Catfish  
Kicaster Creek  
April 17, 2015 1:17pm
 
Yep, they turn down the A/C and then sleep under the covers.

 
4th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Spriungs  
April 17, 2015 1:10pm
 
I would love to know how many of these 'hungry' people have a big screen tv, a newest auto, beer in the ice box, smoke cigarettes, and set their a/c to 68 degrees, etc. You may have noticed that the 2 states with the most... More ›

 
Duke  
Lodi, Texas  
April 17, 2015 11:22am
 
I guess a very large percentage of those classified as 'food insecure' are probably too young to remember the victory gardens of World War II and the era of of self sufficiency. Maybe the food banks should also stock vegetable... More ›

 
Maria Calvert  
Willson County  
April 17, 2015 10:17am
 
If "they" would spend less money on their tattooes, blinged up cellphones and fake fingernails, they might be able to feed their families - I am sure tired of doing so - I don't have a tattoo, cellphone or fake nails... More ›

 
Catfish  
Kicaster Creek  
April 17, 2015 9:38am
 
If a family is above the income limit for public assistance, then wealth is not the reason for the 'food insecure'. They are just too dumb or lazy to prepare food instead of relying on prepared food. It's also a matter... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
April 17, 2015 9:17am
 
That's an awful lot of people who are "food insecure." This story did not say how many of those are starving. Does America still have starving people?

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