Our perspective on food insecurity in the area

Our perspective on food insecurity in the area

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - When you are hungry your head can hurt, stomach cram up, and many become Hangry. It is almost unimaginable that people are worried about where they might eat their next meal in Amarillo in 2017.

Let's talk about food insecurity. It is a kind of fuzzy term, but it's everywhere in the Panhandle and across the country to one extent or another.

The USDA defines it as being without reliable access to enough quality food to avoid hunger at least part of a year due to a lack of money or other resources like transportation.

According to Feeding America, a food bank association, the national average is about 13 percent while here in the Panhandle the average is closer to 15 percent.

This statistic isn't the whole story. The picture looks better in the southwest Panhandle in places like Deaf Smith, Parmer and Castro counties where the food insecurity rate is as low as 8 percent. But drive down Highway 287 to see the other side of the coin in the southeast where some counties, like Donley, Hall and Childress hover around 19 percent.

That's more than double the rates for counties that are the best off. Amarillo, Potter and Randall counties are at 15%.

The average in our area is almost 1 in 5 people are Food Insecure. There is not one reason, there are many that range from poverty, age, health, mental health and those ones we think of that milk the system.

Our perspective is that we don't like people to be hungry, none of us function well that way, and the High Plains Food Bank has its hands full trying to reduce food insecurity, especially in the southeast.

It's trying to make up for the gap between the need and any federal help available like the supplemental nutrition program called SNAP or what we knew as Food Stamps.

This is a tough subject with no easy answer, What is your Perspective?

Perspective is a weekly feature presented by NewsChannel 10 Vice President/General Manager Brent McClure. Have something you'd like to share? Send your perspective to perspective@newschannel10.com.

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