More than 274,000 Southern Nevadans, including one in six children, to experience food insecurity this year
LAS VEGAS, July 27, 2023 – Three Square Food Bank announced the release of Feeding America’s 2023 Map the Meal Gap study, which shows that despite rates dropping in Southern Nevada, food insecurity remains a top issue for many struggling families.
The annual study revealed there are 274,430 – or one in eight– food-insecure individuals in Southern Nevada, a decrease of 66,750 people since last year. The food insecurity rate across Three Square’s entire service area – which includes Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties – is now 12%, down from 15%.
The study also shows that 17.8% of children in Southern Nevada – or one in six, which equates to 93,750– are living in food-insecure households. This is down from 24.8% in 2022.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as limited or uncertain access to enough food to live an active, healthy life.
"While recent data shows a downward trend in food insecurity, it doesn't change the fact that too many of our neighbors are still uncertain about where their next meal is coming from," said Beth Martino, president and CEO of Three Square Food Bank. "Operations at Three Square do not change. In fact, we must prepare for newer threats, including rising inflation, changes to SNAP benefits, a housing crisis and supply chain disruptions. We must continue to be a strong force through our volunteers, donors, and community partners and be relentless in our pursuit of a hunger-free community."
Map the Meal Gap 2023 Study
According to the study, approximately 274,430 people – or 12% of people in Southern Nevada (Clark, Lincoln, Nye and Esmeralda counties) – will not be able to secure enough food for themselves and their families for extended periods during this year. Clark County, including the greater Las Vegas valley, accounts for 97% of the total food-insecure population in Southern Nevada.
Additional findings from the national study specific to Southern Nevada include:
- Food insecure residents miss approximately 48 million meals a year, or about 177 missing meals per person.
- Food insecure individuals miss an average of 8 meals per week.
- The average weekly food budget shortfall is $20.32 per person across Three Square’s service area. For a family of four, this equates to about $4,227 annually.
An interactive map outlining food insecurity in Southern Nevada by zip code is available at threesquare.org/learn/research.
The study is supported by the founding sponsor Howard G. Buffett Foundation, as well as the ConAgra Foods Foundation and Nielsen. The food price data and analysis were provided by Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), a global provider of information and insights. The lead researcher is Dr. Craig Gundersen, the Snee Family Endowed Chair at Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP), professor in the Department of Economics at Baylor University and member of Feeding America’s Technical Advisory Group.
Additional food insecurity details and the complete Map the Meal Gap report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.
About Three Square Food Bank
A national model project inspired by Founder Eric Hilton with a grant provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Three Square is Southern Nevada’s only food bank and largest hunger relief organization, serving Las Vegas and all of Clark, Lincoln, Esmeralda and Nye counties. Since opening in 2007, Three Square has provided more than 550 million pounds of food to hundreds of thousands of people in need and earned a reputation as one of the most efficient and effective food banks in the country. Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with businesses, nonprofit agencies, food distributors, higher education institutions, the Clark County School District, governmental entities, the media and thousands of volunteers working together to support food-insecure Southern Nevadans. Last year, Three Square provided nearly 43 million pounds of food, the equivalent of nearly 36 million meals, through its network of community partners. A member of the Feeding America network of food banks, Three Square remains committed to its mission of providing wholesome food to hungry people, while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community. If you or someone you know needs food assistance, or wants to learn more about Three Square’s vision of a community where no one is hungry, please connect at threesquare.org, Facebook (@ThreeSquareFoodBank), Instagram (@threesquarelv) and Twitter (@threesquarelv).
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