A study finds hunger is a problem the remains persistent. Brian Barks, spokesman for the Food Bank for the Heartland, says the research found far too many people still don’t know where they’ll be getting their next meal.
“Just a little more than 211,000 people that live in the food bank’s service area are considered food insecure,” Barks says. “The numbers released are essentially statistically insignificant as far as a change from a year ago. It tells us the problem of hunger in our area isn’t getting any worse but unfortunately, it’s not getting any better either.”
The Omaha-based facility supplies food items to 325 food pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens in 93 counties across western Iowa and Nebraska. Barks says while the survey identified 211,000 people in the service area as being food insecure, he says it went further in tallying adults versus children.
“As far as child hunger is concerned, this year’s number is 84,000 and last year’s number was 83,000,” Barks says. “The difference is statistically insignificant. It just confirms to us that hunger continues to be a big problem in Nebraska and western Iowa.” This time of year is especially difficult.
Barks says, “It is a very difficult time because the amount of food donations that we receive during the summer typically goes down as well as the monetary donations, the number of volunteers.” The “Map the Meal Gap” study was done by the group Feeding America.
Estimates are calculated at both the county and congressional district level for the entire U.S.