A lot of people in Southern Nevada are struggling with food insecurity. Due to increases in food and rent costs, they are having to make serious considerations such as whether to purchase food or to pay the rent or buying life-preserving medications. Jesus Martinez, the Nutrition Services Manager here at LSSN, was recently interviewed by CBS channel 8 in a special about food insecurity here in Las Vegas. You can see where LSSN is featured at the 5:20 mark in the longer version of this at https://conta.cc/3g51r0Y .
Pastor Diane Drach-Meinel from Christ the Servant Lutheran Church and a group called the Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN) have also been learning more about the ongoing challenge of hunger in the state of Nevada. LEAN advocates for the common good and promotes public policies that reflect the Christian values of peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease. These are some highlights from Nevada:
- According to recent Feeding America statistics, 373,370 people are facing hunger
- 122,450 of them are children
- 19.5% of children in Nevada experience food security regularly
- Nevada has the fourth highest rate of food insecurity among seniors in the U.S., tied with Texas. Nevada also has the second highest rates of very low food security among seniors in the nation, meaning they report skipping meals to cut costs
- People facing hunger in Nevada are estimated to report needing nearly $200 million more per year to meet their food needs.
- The average cost of a meal in Nevada per person is $3.11
- Churches and other charitable organizations help support those facing hunger through food pantries
- SNAP, formerly food stamps, provides temporary help for people going through hard times – providing supplemental money to buy food until they can get back on their feet.
- 35.5% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children
- A little over half of all seniors who qualify for SNAP benefits do not participate. Only 48% of those eligible for the program are enrolled
Maybe you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity? We at LSSN can help low income folks sign up for SNAP benefits.