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More than 100,000 struggle with food insecurity in S.D. annually
By Staff reports

May 14. 2014 10:13AM
In South Dakota, nearly 103,000 people struggle with food insecurity and the annual meal gap is more than 18 million meals. Nationally, nearly 49 million people are food insecure.

Map the Meal Gap 2014 is a detailed analysis of food insecurity done 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.

“Studies like Map the Meal Gap 2014 allow Feeding South Dakota to continue to evaluate and adjust to the need in our state,” said Matt Gassen, executive director of Feeding South Dakota. “The research data includes weekly food-budget shortfalls, demographics and poverty levels which help us define the social issues plaguing our area and work together as a community to find a solution.”

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.

Other local key findings:

• The cost of an average meal in South Dakota is $2.74.

• The annual food budget shortfall in South Dakota is $49,405,000. This number represents the amount of additional money that food-insecure individuals in the area said they would need to put enough food on the table for an adequate diet.

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

“Hunger is a pervasive and solvable problem plaguing every corner of America today,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America. “By continuing to provide extensive and revealing data like the 2014 Map the Meal Gap study, we will be able to tackle these issues head-on and be armed with the information needed to work towards making sure everyone has enough to eat.”

The Map the Meal Gap 2014 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.

A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report are available at www.feedingamerica.org/mapthegap.






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