Hunger in the life of a child is UNacceptable – and in Texas it’s on the rise

July 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

by David Davenport, President & CEO

Earlier this year I lived in a hospital room for nearly a month while my youngest child struggled with a serious and debilitating illness. His illness prevented him from being able to eat solid food. For over a week he suffered. I suffered watching him.

During my son’s illness he wasn’t alone in wondering when he would be able to eat again.

More than 24 percent of Texas children are experiencing food insecurity, according to a new report released by Feeding America. Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2006-2008 reveals an increase (from 22 percent to more than 24 percent) of children in Texas living with the uncertain access to enough food for a healthy lifestyle.

The study also reveals regional data on food insecurity for children under the age of five. In the South, more than one in five children, or nearly 22 percent of young children, are food insecure – the highest rate in the nation.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases an annual report on the state of food insecurity in the United States, which focuses on the general population in each state. This new report delves deeper into the data in order to bring the child hunger statistics to the forefront.

While the recent 2009 USDA food insecurity report revealed that, nationally, nearly one in four children is food insecure, determining detailed, state-level estimates on child food insecurity requires looking at a three-year average to increase accuracy and reliability. Though high, these estimates are expected to rise over the coming years as the full impact of the economic downturn is accounted for.

Texas continues to show staggering growth in the percentage and true number of children that suffer from food insecurity. It is overdue that we as Texans embrace the core belief that in a state capable of feeding the entire nation hunger- especially in the life of a child – is socially, economically and morally unacceptable.

Because it is.

The states with the highest rates of child food insecurity for children under the age of 18 include:

State Rate
Arkansas 24.4%
Texas 24.3%
Arizona 24.2%
District of Columbia 23.7%
Missouri 23.2%
Mississippi 22.7%
Georgia 22.5%
Maine 21.1%
South Carolina 21.1%
Florida 20.8%
Oregon 20.8%

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