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New Data From 2015 Map The Meal Gap Shows 327,690 Local People are at Risk of Hunger in our six-county service area

Posted April 14, 2015 in Press Releases

New Data From 2015 Map The Meal Gap Shows 327,690 Local People are at Risk of Hunger in our six-county service area

More Than 58 Million Meals are Needed to Close the Gap

Cleveland, OH– April 14, 2015 – There are 327,690 people in the Greater Cleveland Food Bank service area who are food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where they will find their next meal, according to new research released today by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. The results show that food insecurity continues to remain high throughout the six-county service area the Food Bank serves. According to the data, 17.5 percent of people in the area are food insecure; that includes 99,500 children. The Meal Gap in our area has increased from 56 to 58 million meals since the report was released a year ago, and the number of people has risen as well from 320,940 to 327,690.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 is a detailed analysis of food insecurity conducted by Feeding America and the only study available that provides county–level estimates of food insecurity in the United States. Food insecurity is defined by the USDA as a socioeconomic condition of limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.

“Need remains high in Northeast Ohio,” said Kristin Warzocha, president and CEO, Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “Even many who are working are struggling to put food on the table, with the loss in middle-wage jobs and the increase in low-wage jobs. Particularly disturbing is that the number of food insecure children has increased since last year’s report. We provide more meals each year, but there is obviously more that needs to be done. We know that our community will step up to help.”

The information is provided in an interactive map that allows viewers to find out how widespread hunger is in their community. The map can be found at www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.

Research for the study was generously supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen.

The Map the Meal Gap 2015 analysis was developed by Dr. Craig Gundersen for Feeding America. Food-insecurity rates are based on a state-level model that allows for the population in need of food at the county and congressional district level. Additionally, Feeding America worked in collaboration with Nielsen to arrive at estimates for food-cost variation by county. Results were reviewed by the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group in order to ensure accuracy and promote transparency.

About Greater Cleveland Food Bank

The Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio, providing 45.6 million meals in 2014 to hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. Our mission is to ensure that everyone in our communities has the nutritious food they need every day. We do this through both food distribution and SNAP outreach efforts. The best and easiest way to help is to go online: visit us at www.greaterclevelandfoodbank.org.

The general public can help by making a monetary donation. The Harvest for Hunger drive is still underway and donations are welcome at www.HarvestForHunger.org. For every dollar donated, the Foodbank can provide enough food for four nutritious meals.

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