New data indicates United Food Bank making an impact in food insecurity in the East Valley and Eastern Arizona

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Three volunteers stand ready to distribute food (L-R) Mike Dinwiddie, Diana Herrick, and Jay Collins.

  According to a recent study from Feeding America, United Food Bank has made a striking impact in helping Arizonans out of poverty throughout our service area covering more than 19,000 square miles. The overall food insecurity in United Food Bank’s five counties ranges from a low of 13.9% of the population in Pinal County to 25.5% in Apache County.

  The study reports a nearly 1% reduction in the food insecurity rate from 2015 to 2016 in the counties United Food Bank serves:

Maricopa –  15.0% in 2015; 14.3% in 2016

Pinal –  14.7% in 2015; 13.9% in 2016

Gila –  18.5% in 2015; 17.5% in 2016

Southern Navajo –  23.0% in 2015; 21.9% in 2016

Southern Apache –  26.6% in 2015; 25.5% in 2016

  “I am proud of the positive impact we are making in fighting hunger in Arizona,” states Dave Richins, United Food Bank CEO. “One percent may not seem like a lot, but in reality, it is a dramatic improvement. Our donors, volunteers, agencies and staff should take a lot of pride in knowing we made a dent in Arizona’s food insecurity rate.”

  There is still a great need for support from the community to help eliminate hunger. In fact, Arizona ranks 12th in the nation for food insecurity and 6th in the country for child food insecurity. Just in United Food Bank’s service area, nearly 225,000 people are food insecure with more than 84,000 of them children. 

  United Food Bank is one of 200 food banks in the Feeding America network that collectively provide food assistance to 41 million Americans struggling with hunger. 

  Map the Meal Gap 2018 uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis provided by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights. The study is supported by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Conagra Brands Foundation and Nielsen.

  United Food Bank announced these findings as part of the release of the Map the Meal Gap 2018, the latest report by Feeding America on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level. Map the Meal Gap 2018 reveals that food insecurity exists in every county in United Food Bank’s service area.

  More specific data is available from United Food Bank, as well as a summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States, and the full report available at map.feedingamerica.org.

About United Food Bank

This year, United Food Bank celebrates 35 years as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides hunger relief to people in need in the East Valley and eastern Arizona. We collect, acquire, store and distribute food and related commodities to more than 220 partner agencies that serve nearly 225,000 people in need across more than 19,500 square miles. Last year, United Food Bank distributed almost 24 million pounds of food providing nearly 19.5 million meals to our neighbors in need. Visit www.unitedfoodbank.org for more information.

About Feeding America

Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through food pantries and meal programs in communities throughout America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org.

Staff (5212 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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