September is Hunger Action Month around the nation but during this month, it is important to focus on the statistics around hunger in our service area. For instance, did you know Louisiana is the number one state in the country in senior hunger? A study done by Feeding America, State of Senior Hunger 2019, revealed Louisiana has the highest food insecurity rate in the country among adults aged 60 and older.
Not only are we the leading state in senior hunger, but Feeding America’s release of Map the Meal Gap 2019 revealed individuals in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank service area are more likely to face hunger than the overall population across America.
The study showed that these individuals are more likely to be food insecure, with the overall food insecurity rate at 12.5% compared to 14.8% for our service area. That means 1 in 7 people in our 11-parish service area are facing hunger. Still, 36% of the food insecure individuals in our service area are not eligible for federal nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC.
As upsetting as it is to learn so many in our service area are food insecure, it is even harder to learn 1 in 5 children in our service area are food insecure as well. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank has the BackPack Program for children facing hunger during the school year. However, when those children are out of school they are still facing hunger with very little resources. Similar to the overall statistic, Map the Meal Gap 2019 revealed children in our service area are more likely to face hunger than the overall population of children across America.
For a quick view of food insecurity statistics for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank service area, please click here.