March 25, 2011
Food security

Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project provides estimates of food insecurity at the County level combining various data sources to create a better understanding of the amount of food insecurity at the local level by income category and the food budget shortfall of individuals who are food insecure.  Findings are available in an interactive map.

The study finds that, while the national rate for food insecurity is 16%, the average rate in the top 10% of counties that are most food insecure averages 24%.  Rural counties were overrepresented in the top 10%, as were East South Central and South Atlantic states.

Although food insecurity is most common among households with the lowest incomes, the report points at that food insecurity exists across income levels.  An estimated 29% of food insecure individuals are above 185% of the poverty line, which would typically make them ineligible for most food assistance programs.

Related food insecurity information can be found on our website.