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New Map Shows Food Insecurity In Texas Neighborhoods

“Feeding Texas” has created a statewide map that breaks down food insecurity to the census tract level.

For the first time, Feeding Texas, a statewide network of food banks, has used census data to create a food insecurity map.

“We developed it for this current legislative session,” Celia Cole, Feeding Texas CEO, said. “So that when policymakers are looking at any kind of legislation that might affect poverty or hunger in a given area, they can see to what extent it will affect their constituents.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”

The data comes from the group’s parent organization Feeding America and the USDA. Across Houston, the map shows several dark blue spots, indicating 23 percent or more of households suffer food insecurity.

But Cole says it’s really a statewide issue.

“Hunger and food insecurity is a problem that affects every single county in the state,” she said. “It doesn’t just occur in the places that you think it would occur, such as in dense urban areas or in rural areas or along the border, where we have a high percentage of people living in poverty.”

Hunger is not just a problem for those suffering it, she said, but it also comes at an economic cost for the state and nation, in the form of higher healthcare and education costs, for example.

 

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter.Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club.Florian is a native of Germany. His studies in Leipzig...

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