Study: 17.4 percent of people in Milwaukee don’t have enough food for a healthy lifestyle

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin has announced the release of the annual “Map the Meal Gap” study, which details the rate of food insecurity in eastern Wisconsin.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 results reveal that 12.6 percent of the population in eastern Wisconsin is food insecure, including more than 188,000 children.

Food insecurity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the inability to provide enough food for a healthy lifestyle.

“Despite the fact that the economy is showing signs of recovery, hunger remains pervasive,” said Charles McLimans, President/CEO of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. “This study paints a picture of the economic issues that so many of our neighbors face in the communities we serve.”

Wisconsin ranks below the national food insecurity average of 15.8 percent. However, two counties in eastern Wisconsin have higher food insecurity ratings than the national average, Milwaukee at 17.4 percent and Menominee at 19.5 percent. Seventeen of the 36 counties Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin serves have a higher child food insecurity rating than the national average.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 is based on an analysis of statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The study, commissioned by Feeding America, is a detailed analysis of the nation’s food insecurity. An interactive map is available that allows viewers to explore the issue of hunger in their community.

The study is supported by the Founding Sponsor, Howard G. Buffett Foundation as well as the ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen. The food price data and analysis was provided by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. The lead researcher is Dr. Craig Gundersen, professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory and member of Feeding America’s Technical Advisory Group.