BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana leads the nation with the highest percent of children living in food-insecure households, a study from Feeding America reveals.
The study indicates that 24.6% of children in the state face food insecurity, a term the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as a lack of access to enough food for a healthy, active life for everyone in a household, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
The study further shows that one in five children living in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s 11-parish area are food insecure, Josie Bonnette of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank wrote.
“Many children have been going without the free or reduced school lunches since March due to the closure of schools or the inability to get to meal distributions as a result of the pandemic,” Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank CEO and President Mike Manning said. “We see families with children struggle every summer to make up for meals they cannot access or their school is no longer providing. However, this pre-pandemic data shows how great the need was before the pandemic. The need is more likely to be even greater now.”
Feeding America released Map the Meal Gap, a study showing estimates of food insecurity across the country, on Wednesday, June 3.
“The Feeding America study provided further insights such as 1 in 7 individuals in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank’s 11-parish service area struggle with food insecurity,” Bonnette wrote, “Along with an annual meal gap of 20.1 million meals. This means with federal assistance programs coupled with the services of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank there is still a gap of over 20 million meals a year for our clients.”
For more information on how to help the food bank close this gap, click here or call (225) 359-9940.