Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released “Map the Meal Gap 2012” which confirms food insecurity at the county and congressional district levels throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture measure’s food insecurity as periodic lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
The report, released at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. on April 27, found that even though food insecurity rates have remained relatively stable across the nation for the past two years, those communities that were previously known to have the highest rates of food insecurity have continued to climb.
“Map the Meal Gap 2012” verifies what we at the Capital Area Food Bank know – that we are facing a hunger crisis nationally and regionally. The study identifies 419,870 people in the CAFB’s service area who are food insecure, 100,000 of whom live in the District of Columbia. I want to point out that the Capital Area Food Bank uses a different method to measure those in our region who face hunger and our numbers are even higher.
Surprisingly enough, food insecurity extends to military families in the region. For example, when the Capital Area Food Bank sent a mobile food pantry to Fort Belvoir last June for the first time, 100 families were served monthly. Today there are over 250 families being served and we expect to expand our distribution to four additional military facilities – Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Myer, Bolling A.F.B. and Andrews A.F.B.
It is very important for you to understand that in order for the Capital Area Food Bank to respond effectively to increased hunger insecurity in the region, we will be moving into a new 123,000 square foot food distribution center in late July. This new facility will enable the CAFB to double its storage and distribution capacity over time and, hopefully, reach all of those in region who are facing hunger. With your support, we will accomplish our mission. Thank you.