Rural areas face food insecurity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rural areas face food insecurity

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Despite being the place where most food is grown, rural areas in the Midwest has some of the highest rates of food insecurity.

According to the most recent data from the Iowa Food Bank Association, 13.4 percent of Iowans do not have access to an adequate supply of food.

The Northeast Iowa Food Bank serves 16 counties in northeast Iowa and thousands of families in need. For Barb Prather, the Executive Director of this food bank, the numbers in her area are on the downward side.

"Our numbers for our service area are down a little but for Black Hawk County the number is up a little bit," said Prather.

According to the survey in 2009, 14.6 percent or 18,500 of people in Black Hawk County are food insecure. Dubuque County is at 12.1 percent, or 11,100 people. There are 25,100 people in Linn County that are food insecure which is 12.2 percent and Johnson County is at 13.4 percent or 16,900 people.

Those from the organization Feeding America, who put together this study together say the increases are from scarce jobs and low salaries.

Those who need help from such places as the Northeast Iowa food bank, the demographics vary greatly. They range from the very young to the very old.

"It might be an elderly person who lives on a fixed income. It might be somebody who just lost their job. It might be somebody with a family who has kids. It's across the board. The need is not going away. While we hear signs that the economy is changing for a lot of people that need is still there," said Prather.

Prather also says the need will only increase in the summer months as young students are away from school & school lunch.

According to the study, Mississippi is the worst state when it comes to food assistance at 21.8 percent.

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