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Map the Meal Gap 2015 Study Indicates 16.7% of Residents of the Mahoning Valley Struggle with Hunger

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley announced the release of the annual Map the Meal Gap study, which details the startling rate of food insecurity experienced by residents in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties.  Map the Meal Gap 2015 results reveal that food insecurity affects the most vulnerable populations in the Mahoning Valley, including 26.8% of children. 

Food insecurity is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure of lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. 

“At Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley we are constantly working to provide up-to-date solutions for the Mahoning Valley community that we serve,” said Michael Iberis, executive director at Second Harvest Food Bank. “Findings from Map the Meal Gap 2015 helps hunger-relief organizations like ours better quantify the economic issues that so many of our neighbors deal with.“

The state of Ohio’s 16.9% food insecurity rate is higher than the national rate 15.8% and higher than all other Midwestern states except Missouri (17%). The report also found that about one in four children in Ohio (24.2%) live in food insecure households.

Other local key findings:

  • 31,870 of children in the Mahoning Valley are food insecure.
  • 92,500 resident of the Mahoning Valley are food insecure.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 is based on an analysis of statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.The study, commissioned by Feeding America, is a detailed analysis of the nation’s food insecurity. An interactive map is available that allows viewers to explore the issue of hunger in the Mahoning Valley and across the country. The map can be found at map.feedingamerica.org.