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Hunger By Any Name December 7, 2010

Posted by ffralmm in Health & Nutrition.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Even though the local economy is strong compared to other areas around the country, many Madison County residents are still struggling. A letter writer to the The Huntsville Times reported bare cupboards at food pantries. For data collectors, hunger goes by many names.

Food Insecurity Statistics

The Economic Research Service, a division of the USDA, tracks “food insecurity” among American families. For national level data, you can visit the “Food Security in the United States” Briefing Room:  http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/stats_graphs.htm.

For state level data from 2007-2009, see table 7 on page 20 of the following ERS report, “Household Food Security in the United States, 2009”: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR108/ERR108.pdf. For previous years, scroll to table 8 on page 21.

Free & Reduced Lunch Rates

Another measure of how many families are struggling to put food on the table is the percentage of Alabama and Madison County children on the free and reduced lunch at public schools.

The 2010 Kids Count Alabama Data Book reports free and reduced lunch rates for all Alabama counties. Madison County data is available on page 88, and an overview of Kids Count indicators for Madison County appears on page 60. The full report is accessible at http://www.alavoices.org/files/2010AKCDB.pdf.

The Kids Count Data Center website, http://datacenter.kidscount.org/, is another useful source of national, state, and county level data for hundreds of measures of children’s well-being.

Hunger Statistics

Feeding America simply calls it “hunger” in their national report “Hunger in America 2010.” Local data was collected and reported by the Food Bank of North Alabama. Their report is accessible here: http://feedingamerica.issuelab.org/research/listing/hunger_in_america_2010_local_report_prepared_for_the_food_bank_of_north_alabama. It includes data for Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, Cullman, Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb Counties. The national report is accessible here: http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-in-america-2010/hunger-report-2010.aspx.

Food Drives

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is holding a “Food for Fines” can drive the week of December 6-12. If you have other food drives to report, please post.



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