Map the Meal Gap: A Closer Look at Hunger – July 21

Volunteers distribute food at a Pomeroy Mobile Market

Author: Olivia Bridston

Feeding America released its 2023 Map the Meal Gap study, examining food insecurity in the United States.

According to the Department of Agriculture, people who are food insecure have “inadequate resources to acquire enough food for a healthy, active life.” This means they may not have enough food to put on their dinner table or make a variety of nutritious meals.

The annual Map the Meal Gap report looks at how food insecurity rates are influenced by a variety of factors, including how hunger varies by location and by race and ethnicity. The study also compares rates of child hunger to overall hunger throughout the country. The 2023 study analyzes data from 2021.

There are important takeaways from this year’s study. Food insecurity in the United States declined from 2020 to 2021 but Feeding America notes that the influx of public and private support likely contributed to the lower reported levels.

Other highlights from Feeding America’s report:

  • There are people facing food insecurity in every county in the United States.
  • The average cost per meal is up 34 cents from last year. At an average of $3.59 per meal, this marks the highest cost per meal since 2005 after adjusting for inflation.
  • Rates of food insecurity vary by geographic region, race and ethnicity, and county population size.

As a partner food bank in the Feeding America network, Second Harvest Inland Northwest proudly serves 21 counties in Eastern Washington and five counties in North Idaho. Within our service region, approximately 1 in 10 people—and 1 in 7 children—are food insecure.

To learn more about food insecurity in Second Harvest’s service area, please visit Feeding America’s interactive map:

For more information about hunger and hunger-relief efforts in your community, please visit our website:

End Summer Hunger

Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho

Copyright 2020 Second Harvest. All rights reserved.