Map the Meal Gap
Food Insecurity in Larimer County
On April 27, Feeding America, in collaboration with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Nielsen Company, unveiled the results of Map the Meal Gap, a in-depth analysis of local level food insecurity in the United States. Map the Meal Gap sheds a new light on the way hunger is evaluated by looking at the gap between food insecurity and food security.
In Larimer County, an estimated gap of 7 million meals are missing each year or a collective food budget shortfall of $17.97 million. The study reports 14 percent of the population in Larimer County is food insecure which equates to 40,770 residents.The study takes a look at ‘meals’ by using county-level data on food costs from The Nielsen Company to break down the food budget shortfall of our residents into an approximation of the meals missing from the tables of people at risk of hunger in Larimer County each year.
This study brings to light the need for better wages and employment opportunities for the County’s food insecure population to help them meet their basic needs. Based on new research by The Nielsen Company, the average price per meal in Larimer County is $2.56. The annual “Meal Gap” in Larimer County collectively equates to 7.02 million meals that are missing.
Map the Meal Gap
provides data for Larimer County and every county in the United States in an interactive map format. “The interactive map allows policy makers, state agencies, corporate partners and individual advocates to develop integrated strategies to fight hunger on a community by community level,” said Pezzani.
According to Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey data analyzed as part of Map the Meal Gap, people struggling with hunger estimate they would need about $14.53 more each week on average during the months that they are food insecure to address the shortages in their food budget.
The findings of Map the Meal Gap are based on statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, and food price data from The Nielsen Company. The study was supported by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen.
Local Press Release
Map the Meal Gap - Colorado
Map the Meal Gap - Larimer County
Map the Meal Gap - Food Bank for Larimer County
Child Food Insecurity
On August 25, 2011, Food Bank for Larimer County (FBLC) and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, released a new study which reveals in Larimer County, 20.5% of children or 12,740 children under the age of 18 are struggling with hunger.The study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011”, also reveals that there are children struggling with hunger in every county in America. Nationally, while one in six Americans overall is food insecure, the rate for children is much higher: nearly one in four children is food insecure.
“For the first time ever, this study reveals significant data about children living in Larimer County who are at risk for hunger. With over 20% of children in our community not knowing where their next meal will come from, the Food Bank for Larimer County is working hard to address this gap through its expanding child nutrition programs including Kids Cafe and Snack programs, Backpack, and Kids Link,” said Amy Pezzani, Executive Director.
Child nutrition programs are key tactics in fighting hunger locally at the FBLC. In Larimer County this summer, 30,551 meals were distributed at eight Kids Cafe sites, and 1,538 snacks were distributed at CORE Center and the Wellington’s Kids Cafe. Over 1,850 backpacks were filled this summer with non-perishable food for weekend support to Kids Cafe participants.
“We’ve enhanced our child nutrition programs by adding two new Kids Cafe sites, expanded geographical outreach in Estes Park, and partnered more comprehensively with our area school districts through Kids Link. These methods have all collectively widened our ability to reach greater pockets of children in need in Larimer County,” said Pezzani. “But, as this report reminds, our work continues.”
“Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity” provides the following data for Larimer County in an interactive map format:
o 14% of the entire Larimer County population is food insecure.
o 49% of children in Larimer County who are food insecure are eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
o 51% of children in Larimer County who are food insecure are not eligible for assistance from federal nutrition programs like Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), free or reduced-price school meals, and others.
An executive summary of the report can be found at: www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap/childsummary Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, food insecurity is particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability and the potential for long-term health consequences. Several studies have demonstrated that food insecurity impacts cognitive development among young children and is linked to poorer school performance in older children. Other data show the health consequences of food insecurity among children, including increased illness and higher associated health costs.
Read more about Child Food Insecurity in Larimer County