Feeding America believes that addressing the problem of hunger requires a thorough understanding of the problem itself. For the last five years, Feeding America has undertaken the Map the Meal Gap project to continue learning about the face of food security at the local level. By understanding the population in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance. In the state of Michigan, the overall rate of food insecurity is 16.4%, with the childhood rate slightly higher at 20.9%.
The goals of the Map the Meal Gap project are focused on equipping communities, service providers and policymakers with additional analytical tools to help understand the dynamics of food insecurity at the local level so they may use this information to better in form discussions about how to respond to the need.
There are two key findings in the report. First, food insecurity exists in every county across the country. Second, locally, as well as nationally, not all food-insecure people qualify for federal nutritional assistance, reflecting both the important role of charitable hunger relief and the need to strengthen anti-hunger programs and policies. Map the Meal Gap 2015 shows that there are millions of food-insecure people in counties across the United States who have incomes that render them ineligible for most federal food assistance programs. This suggests that federal nutrition programs, while targeted at our most vulnerable, do not serve all who are in need of food assistance.