Map the Meal Gap is a detailed analysis of food insecurity in every county and congressional district in the United States, and the only study that provides local-level estimates of food insecurity across the country. This year's release focuses on the extent and variation in local food insecurity levels in the U.S. in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the national food insecurity rate was the lowest it had been in 20 years, 10.9%. In 2020, 11.8% of individuals (38.3 million) lived in a food-insecure household. The economic downturn brought on by COVID-19 pandemic could have led to an increase in overall food insecurity levels but support from the public/private sector helped mitigate hardship for many in our country.
For the first time, the study includes new local food insecurity data for several racial and ethnic groups. By examining variations in local need as of 2020, including how need varies by age and race/ethnicity, communities can develop more targeted strategies to reach people at risk of hunger today.
The report shows that one in five kids in Central Florida are food insecure. Being food insecure at any age can be harmful, but it can be devastating for children. It can stunt their growth, affect their ability to learn and forces them to withdraw from social interaction. The consequences and costs of food insecurity for children of all ages make addressing the issue an economic and social imperative as research demonstrates links between food insecurity and poor child health and behavioral outcomes at every age.
Changes in Food Insecurity in Central Florida
View findings on an Interactive Map on Feeding America's website
Full Map the Meal Gap 2022 Report