North Texas Food Bank serves 4th largest area as Texas tops hunger crisis

courtesy North Texas Food Bank
NTFB discusses hunger as Feeding America study reveals Texas tops the nation in hunger, NTFB covers 4th largest hunger area.

According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, published yesterday, Texas tops the nation in the hunger crisis.

With a food insecure population of nearly 5 million, a $3 billion annual food budget shortfall and 45% of the population estimated to qualify for SNAP based on income, Texas has a long way to go when it comes to eliminating hunger.

“The findings from the Feeding America Map the Meal Gap study are both sobering and reflective of the challenges many of our neighbors face every day,” said Teresa Jackson, CEO of Sharing Life Community Outreach, a feeding partner and HUB for the North Texas Food Bank. “As we look at the data for the areas Sharing Life serves, we see a clear picture of food insecurity not just in Dallas County, but also in Rockwall and Kaufman Counties. These are our communities, where our friends and neighbors struggle to put food on the table every single day.

Collin County faired better than most, with a food insecurity rate of 12.1% and a food insecure population of 130,740. North Texas Food Bank, a Plano-based nonprofit, serves counties Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro and Rockwall.

According to the Feeding America report, NTFB’s coverage area is the nation’s fourth-largest area of food insecurity, with 1 in 8 people food insecure in the area.

“While Texas boasts of being bigger in many aspects, leading the nation in food insecurity is not a badge of honor we can proudly wear,” said Trisha Cunningham, president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank. “In the heart of North Texas, where the number of people facing hunger is greater than the populations of cities like Seattle or San Francisco, the statistic that strikes hardest is nearly 40% of those in need are children, and that is just unacceptable. Yet, amid these struggles, the North Texas Food Bank is committed to closing the hunger gap in North Texas through the dedication of generous supporters and steadfast partnerships.”

According to NTFB, 1 in 4 Black persons, 1 in 5 Hispanic persons and 1 in 11 White persons are food insecure in the service area. All of these demographics are up from the 2021 study, highlighting the disparities in hunger in the area.

To address this, NTFB provided access to 127 million meals in the 2022 fiscal year and a 144 million meals in fiscal year 2023. According to a news release, NTFB uses Feeding America data like the Map the Meal Gap study to determine where hunger is most needed.

“Empowered by the unwavering support of our community, the North Texas Food Bank stands as a beacon in the fight against hunger. With every donation of food, funds, and time, we fortify our mission and extend our reach,” Cunningham said. “Together, with our dedicated partners and volunteers, we form a lifeline of compassion, delivering hope and sustenance to those in need. In unity, we nourish not just bodies, but spirits, overcoming barriers to food security one meal at a time.”

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