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New data shows significant increases in food insecurity

Think for a moment about your family and friends. Picture their faces and consider the things you appreciate most about them. Then choose seven of them to hold in your mind. Young, old, new friend, lifelong friend, child, partner, sibling — it can be anyone. Now, imagine that one of these people doesn’t have enough to eat.

The most recent data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study reveals that the scenario above applies to Wyoming’s population: One in seven people are food insecure. Included among those people are the one in five kids who experience food insecurity. At Food Bank of Wyoming, our mission is to reach each of these community members.

To truly address food insecurity and identify its roots, we must first understand it. Every year, Feeding America conducts the Map the Meal Gap study to learn more about this national endemic; food insecurity affects 100% of counties and congressional districts in the United States. By understanding populations in need, we can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance.

Map the Meal Gap uses publicly available state and local data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics on factors that research has shown to contribute to food insecurity — factors like unemployment, poverty, demographic and household characteristics and more. In addition to data for the overall population and children, the study also includes local food insecurity estimates for several racial and ethnic groups and estimates the cost of a meal and the amount of need among people who are food insecure.

After compiling all of this information, here’s what this year’s Map the Meal Gap study* revealed about food insecurity rates in Wyoming:

  • 56% more kids are estimated to be food insecure compared to the previous year (one in five kids, previously one in eight)
  • 36% more people are estimated to be food insecure compared to the previous year (one in seven people, previously one in nine)
  • The estimated price per meal increased from $3.50 to $3.90 year-over-year — an 11% increase

While the causes of food insecurity vary from person to person, the common thread remains: Hunger affects every aspect of a person’s life, whether it’s childhood development and school work, preventing medical issues or just having the energy to live life fully.

Food Bank of Wyoming has been unwavering in its mission to nourish anyone in our state that is in need of food, whether it’s a one-time need or an ongoing situation. In order to do this, Food Bank of Wyoming relies on volunteers and financial gifts from the community. Every dollar and hour donated means Food Bank of Wyoming can continue showing up for our neighbors how and when they need us most. 

Inspired to help alleviate hunger in your community? Make a donation, become a FEED365™ monthly donor or sign up for a volunteer shift!

*Map the Meal Gap reflects data with a two-year retrospective.

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