Author: Olivia Bridston

Feeding America recently released its 2022 “Map the Meal Gap” study, an annual report that looks at food insecurity in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as having less access to varied food, quality food or consistent meals. People who are food insecure may not be able to have a variety of nutritious meals or put enough food on their dinner table.

The “Map the Meal Gap” study uses a variety of lenses to examine the complex issue of food insecurity, including looking at how hunger varies by state, county and congressional district. This year also marks the first time the study analyzes experiences of food insecurity by race and ethnicity. The 2022 study analyzes data from 2020, which was the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are some important takeaways from this year’s “Map the Meal Gap” study. Food insecurity in the United States rose from 10.9% in 2019 to 11.8% in 2020. However, Feeding America notes that generous support from countless organizations and individuals during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented this number from increasing even higher.

Other important points that Feeding America highlights in the study are:

  • There are people facing food insecurity in every county of the United States.
  • Rates of food insecurity vary by geographic region, county population size, and by race and ethnicity.
  • The average cost per meal is $3.25, which is the highest amount since 2005 after adjusting for inflation.

Second Harvest Inland Northwest, as a part of the Feeding America network, has a service area of 21 counties in Eastern Washington and five in North Idaho. There’s an overall food insecurity rate of 11.4% in our service region, which translates to approximately 1 in 9 people, including 1 in 6 children.

To learn more about food insecurity in Second Harvest’s service area, please visit Feeding America’s interactive map, which is located here: https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2020/overall/washington/organization/second-harvest-inland-northwest.

For more information on how you can help Second Harvest tackle food insecurity, please visit our website at https://2-harvest.org/.

    Going the Extra Mile to End Hunger

    Second Harvest vehicles travel over 8,200 miles each week to feed neighbors facing food insecurity throughout our 26-county service region.

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