An alarming study shows that 20-percent of children in Nebraska and western Iowa under the age of 18 are at-risk for hunger. “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011” is a groundbreaking study from Feeding America that has officials at the Food Bank for the Heartland concerned. President and CEO Susan Ogborn says what really makes this report so disturbing is that some of the most vulnerable to hunger in our communities are children and that more and more are born into poverty.
Ogborn says one out of every two babies born today are eligible for the Women, Infants and Children low-income feeding program. She says that our up-and-coming population is more poverty stricken than our existing adult population.
Ogborn adds they will try to double their efforts to reach out to areas they have not had contact yet and that is in the rural areas.
The report shows that most of the at-risk children for hunger are in Douglas County with a head count coming in at 26,970. Other counties with large numbers of at-risk children include Sarpy County with 7,600, Woodbury County in Iowa at 6,370 and Pottawattamie County with 4,420.
Food Bank for the Heartland distributes food to more than 350 agencies in 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. They distribute nine-million pounds of food to over 150-thousand people in the two states each year.