Hunger in Kentucky

In many ways America is the land of plenty. But for a staggering number of children across the Kentucky, hunger is the reality.

Close to 1 in 5 of Kentucky’s children lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle. Click here for the Map the Meal Gap report on child food insecurity rates in Kentucky.

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Too many parents must make agonizing choices each month, such as having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel. The Hunger in Kentucky 2014 report found that 67% of food bank clients in Kentucky report facing this tough decision.  91% of food bank clients purchased inexpensive, unhealthy food as a coping strategy.

In Kentucky 338,904 kids qualify for free or reduced price school lunch. When the school year ends, these children are at risk of going hungry.  According to the Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation 2015 study, only 1 in 13 low-income children in Kentucky who needs summer meals is receiving them.

The federal Summer Food Service Program is designed to help bridge the summer hunger gap. The No Kid Hungry Kentucky campaign is working to ensure that all children in Kentucky receive the nutritious meals they need each summer by increasing participation in SFSP.

In the table below you can find additional information about summer meals.

2017 Map the Meal Gap

average cost of a meal $2.67
additional $ required to meet food needs in KY  (total budget shortfall) $334,999,000
percent of children food-insecure 20.0%
equivalent amount of additional $ $66,999,800.0
Meals equivalent of total additional $ based on average cost of meal 25,093,558
Meal gap per month 2,091,130
Meal gap per summer (3 months) — additional meals needed during summer months 6,273,390

More facts and figures available here.

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