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Study: Marion County food insecurity decreasing

Goods are displayed Sept. 29, 2021, at the Eskenazi Health Fresh for You Market in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A new study from the Indy Hunger Network shows the number of food insecure families in Marion County is dropping, but remains above pre-pandemic levels. The study says 25% of families throughout the country had trouble putting meals on the table, compared to 28% last year.

The number of food insecure families prior to the pandemic was 20%.

According to the 2021 Hunger Study, a total of 242,000 residents in Marion County were estimated to need some sort of food assistance, an increase of about 48,000 from before the pandemic.

Kate Howe, executive director of the Indy Hunger Network says while the 2021 numbers are still high, the gap in the meal supply continues to dwindle.

“Despite the fact that there are more Marion County families experiencing food insecurity compared to pre-pandemic levels, there has been a remarkable increase in the supply of food from Federal nutrition programs, the efforts of Indy Hunger Network and its partners, and the generous support of fellow Hoosiers,” Howe said. “Their continued support will be essential as we head into the winter months, when families are most often at risk of experiencing a shortfall in their food supply.”

The study also shows a continued racial disparity when it comes to food insufficiency. An estimated 21% of Black families were reported to have experienced food insufficiency, compared to less than 10% of the general population.

However, the study shows an overall improvement in nutrition among families, with 13% of households reporting eating healthy meals regularly, compared to 4.7% in 2017.

You can connect to the full study by clicking here.