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Mapping the Meal Gap in Northwest North Carolina

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Child food insecurity rates across Northwest North Carolina are higher than the overall food insecurity rates.

That’s the major take-a-way from Map the Meal Gap 2019, the latest report by Feeding America® on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level. It is the only study that provides food insecurity data at the local level, and one that Second Harvest looks to in order to understand what is happening in the counties we serve, and how we should respond.

Map the Meal Gap 2019 reveals that food insecurity exists and persists in every county in Second Harvest Food Bank’s 18 county service area. It also shows that children are more likely to be food insecure, with the child food insecurity rate at 21.4% compared to 14.6% for the overall population in Northwest North Carolina counties.

“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. “Map the Meal Gap highlights that more must be done. Together food banks, corporations, policymakers, donors, volunteers and advocates can solve hunger.” Overall food insecurity for all residents in Northwest North Carolina ranges from a low of 11.4 percent of the population in Davie County up to 17.1% in Guilford County.

The analysis also finds that 27% of residents of Northwest North Carolina who are food insecure are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance under current program requirements. This means that many households must rely even more on food assistance from non-profit organizations, such as Second Harvest Food Bank and its 460+ local partner programs.

Map the Meal Gap 2019 uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis provided by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. The study is supported by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Conagra Brands Foundation and Nielsen.

The study’s findings underscore the extent of need that remains in communities in Northwest North Carolina and across the U.S., despite national measures from the USDA that indicate overall improvement.

This is the ninth consecutive year that Feeding America has conducted the Map the Meal Gap study.

The Map the Meal Gap 2019 interactive map allows policymakers, state agencies, corporate partners, food banks and advocates to develop integrated strategies to fight hunger on a community level.

A summary of the findings and the full report are available at

Join the conversation about Map the Meal Gap 2019 on Twitter using #MealGap.

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

3655 Reed St. 

Winston-Salem, NC 27107

Tel: 336-784-5770

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