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Study: NM ranks among worst in nation for child hunger

Colton Shone
May 10, 2017 05:21 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- For the second year in a row, New Mexico ranks as the second worst state in the country when it comes to having hungry children.

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The Map the Meal Gap 2017 report just came out and looked at how hunger is a problem across the country. According to the study, one in four children is at risk of hunger in New Mexico. Overall, including adults, one in six is at risk.

Sonya Warwick with Roadrunner Food Bank says the biggest factor is the poverty in our state.

"Unemployment is still very high in our state, we tend to rank right now at the very top for unemployment. When there's not jobs available for people it makes their lives really tough in terms of being able to provide for their family. One of the first thing people cut out of their monthly budget is food," she said.

The report breaks down the situation county by county. Here are the top 5 counties for childhood hunger:

  • McKinley County 34.8 percent
  • Luna County  33.6 percent
  • Cibola County 32.7 percent
  • Torrance County 31.2 percent
  • Sierra County  28.9 percent

The problem is aggravated during the summer months.

"Kiddos are out of school, and for those low-income families who rely on the free and reduced lunch program those meals aren't there for them over the summer months,"  Warwick said.

According to Roadrunner Food Bank, a family of four's food budget shortfall is higher this year too. Last year, families were short $258.24. This year? They're short a few dollars more at $264.

For interactive data from the report, click here

Credits

Colton Shone

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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