LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A new study from Feeding America shows children in Central and Eastern Kentucky are more likely to face hunger than the rest of America.
The study shows food insecurity exists in every county served by God’s Pantry Food Bank.
The child food insecurity rate is 20.7% compared to 16.2% for the overall population in Central and Eastern Kentucky. That is about 70,000 children facing hunger, according to the study.
The highest percentage of childhood hunger is in Magoffin county at 22.5%.
The analysis also finds 27% of food insecure people in Central and Eastern Kentucky who are food insecure are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance under current program requirements.
“The food and support resources we offer through more than 400 local food pantries and meal programs in Central and Eastern Kentucky are working,” said Michael Halligan, CEO for God’s Pantry Food Bank. “While we’ve seen a slight decrease in food insecurity over the past year we know our work is not done. There are still nearly 250,000 people, including more than 70,000 children in our area who may not know when or from where their next meal will come.”
“There isn’t a single state or county in America free from child hunger, and it is within our collective power to change that and ensure that today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, chief executive officer of Feeding America. “The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is investing in our nation’s future by helping to provide over 146 million meals to children every year. Still, Map the Meal Gap highlights that more must be done. Together food banks, corporations, policymakers, donors, volunteers and advocates can solve hunger.”
Babineaux-Fontenot encourages people to learn more about hunger in their communities by visiting the Feeding America website.
She also says you can help by telling lawmakers to invest in kids during Child Nutrition Reauthorization legislation and increase access to food for kids during the summer.