- Texas ranks fifth highest in the country for child food insecurity, with more than 1.8 million children in the state at risk of hunger (Texas Hunger Initiative, 2011).
- 19% of residents in McLennan County are food insecure (Blueprint to End Hunger, 2010).
- Poverty is the main cause of food insecurity and hunger.
- However, multiple programs exist both federally and locally to address hunger.
Children and Hunger
- McLennan County has a 27.1% child poverty rate (Kids Count Data: Center for Public Policy Priorities, 2009).
- During the 2009-2010 school year 26,307 children participated in the Free & Reduced Lunch (Kids Count Data: Center for Public Policy Priorities, 2009).
- The following districts in McLennan County have over 65% of students on Free & Reduced Lunch: Moody, McGregor, Mart, Connally, Gholson, La Vega, and Waco.
- All children in the Free & Reduced Lunch program are eligible for free meals during the summer from the USDA
- Of the more than 2.4 million students in the state who get a free or reduced-price lunch at school, less than 1.4 million (56 percent) participate in the School Breakfast Program (Texas Hunger Initiative, 2011).
- Only 12% of the 2.8 millionTexas children that qualify for free or reduced priced meals during the school year participate in the Summer Meals program (Texas Hunger Initiative, 2011).
Seniors and Hunger
- 15.2 % of residents in McLennan County are 62 years and older which is 35,702 people (Census Bureau, 2010).
- 9% of 60 year olds and over income in the past 12 months was below the poverty level (Census Bureau, 2010).
- From 2001-2007 Texas has the fourth highest rate of food insecurity among Seniors in the nation (Ziliak and Gundersen, 2009).
- Households with one or more people 60 years old and over receiving food stamps (SNAP) are 18.3%. Households not receiving food stamps (SNAP) is 34.5% (Census Bureau, 2010).
Blueprint to end hunger. (2010). Retrieved from www.texashunger.org
Census Bureau (2010). Retrieved from www.census.gov
Profile for McLennan County. (2009). Kids Count Data Center, Center for Public Policy Priorities. Retrieved from www.datacenter.kidscount.org
Seniors at Risk of Hunger: State by State (2009). Meals and Wheels Association of America. Retrieved from http://www.mowaa.org/page.aspx?pid=653
Statistics. (2011). Texas Hunger Initiative. Retrieved from www.texashunger.org
Ziliak, J., & Gundersen, C. (2009). Senior Hunger in the United States: Differences across states and rural and urban areas. University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Special Reports. Retrieved November 18, 2011 from http:ukcpr.org/Publications/senior-hungerfollowup.pdf