Montana Food Bank Network announces the release of Map the Meal Gap 2019, the latest report by Feeding America on food insecurity at the county level.
Map the Meal Gap 2019 finds that the overall rate of food insecurity declined across Montana to 11.1%, our lowest rate since Feeding America started tracking the data in 2009. However, even with this decline, 1 in 9 Montanans – including 1 in 6 children – continue to live in homes that struggle to keep food on the table.
The new data show that food insecurity in Montana ranges from a low of 7.9% in Daniels County up to 20.2% in Big Horn County. Big Horn County also has the highest rate of child food insecurity at 30.1%, significantly higher than the state average of 16.1%.
“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, CEO 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.”
We are hopeful that this downward trend is a reflection of a strengthening economy and that we will continue to see fewer Montanans struggling with hunger. We also recognize the hard work and collaboration between Montana’s hunger and poverty-fighting organizations, working together to meet the need for food while also addressing the root causes of hunger.
We encourage you to check out the map at map.feedingamerica.org to see how your county is doing and get involved to be part of the solution! Support your local food pantry and other community organizations, and join us in advocating for strong public programs and policies, including through the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Just text MFBN to 52886 to receive important calls to action.