Hunger in the Region
To learn more about Map the Meal Gap, its methodology, and how hunger affects your county, click Map the Meal Gap.
Wichita Falls Area Faces 6.9 Million Meal Gap
A new report from Feeding America shows that finding food is a struggle for nearly 40,290 Wichita Falls area residents, many of whom do not qualify for government assistance programs. An estimated 6,935,102 meals are needed annually to meet their needs.
According to Map the Meal Gap, a 2010 county-by-county analysis of food insecurity, more than one in six individuals in the region is food insecure – that is, lacking access to enough food to sustain a healthy life. Additionally almost one in four children are also food insecure.
Of the region’s food insecure, 35percent live above the income threshold for government assistance programs like the National School Lunch Program and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp program) has even more stringent income guidelines, barring individuals living above 165% of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of three with an annual income over $22,332 is ineligible for SNAP benefits.
Until now, the Food Bank has been limited to identifying hunger solely through its root cause – poverty. But the Map the Meal Gap estimates take into account additional factors like unemployment, local cost of food, and perceived food-budget shortfalls. According to Feeding America, the extent of unemployment in a county was a stronger predictor of food insecurity than poverty.
The Food Bank and over 165 partner agencies face significant challenges ahead in delivering the 6.9 million meals called for each year to meet the need. However, strong community support for the warehouse expansion has provided the capacity necessary to grow forward. As the Food Bank explores new and unique ways to obtain more food for distribution, we are grateful to a responsive community and the many individuals and organizations who keep our mission alive.
To see a map of each county serviced by the WFAFB please click here.