In November of 2011, the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its most recent report on food insecurity, indicating that 49 million people in the United States are living in food insecure households, 16 million of whom are children. While the magnitude of the problem is clear, national and even state estimates of food insecurity can mask the nuances that exist at the local level.
Recognizing that children are particularly vulnerable to the economic challenges facing families today, Feeding America sought to replicate the food insecurity model used in the original Map the Meal Gap study to reflect the need among children. In the past, Feeding America has conducted research in an effort to learn more about child food insecurity across the country. Beginning in 2009, ConAgra Foods Foundation funded annual reports that included state-level estimates of child food insecurity based on three-year averages. With the Map the Meal Gap methodology developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen, an internationally-renowned expert on food insecurity, we are now able to estimate annual child food insecurity rates at the county and congressional district level. Additionally, this study provides information on the proportion of the child food insecure populations above and below the income eligibility threshold for most government child nutrition programs, as well as a review of food cost variation alongside CFI rates.
These reports summarize findings from an analysis of child food insecurity at the state, county and congressional district level, and the data will be updated annually. This study was generously funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.
Child Executive Summary
Get the full 2010 Child Food Insecurity Executive Summary [PDF]
Get the full 2009 Child Food Insecurity Executive Summary [PDF]
Overall Child Data by Congressional Districts in each state
Together, federal nutrition programs and the emergency food system weave a comprehensive nutrition safety net reaching food insecure individuals at different income levels and in different settings, with special focus on vulnerable child. Child nutrition programs, in particular, play a critical role in providing quality nutritious meals to millions of children every day for free or at a reduced cost. So in addition to developing county level child food insecurity estimates, Map the Meal Gap also estimates child food insecurity rates for every congressional district in every state in the United States. It is our 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 child hunger. As with counties, it is important to note that no congressional district is free of child food insecurity.
View and download state charts with complete 2010 child food insecurity data by Congressional District.
View and download state charts with complete 2009 child food insecurity data by Congressional District.