Poverty and Food Insecurity in Northeast Tennessee
The most recent (2011) U.S. Census data reveal that there are 98,292 people (1 out of every 5 residents) living in poverty in Northeast Tennessee (out of a general population of 507,691). Childhood poverty is even more prevalent: more than 1 in 4 children under age 18 (29,474 children) live in poverty in the region.
Census data indicate that three counties in the Food Bank's service area are among Tennessee's 20 most impoverished counties (Hancock - 2nd highest poverty rate, Johnson - 11th highest poverty rate, and Greene - 16th highest poverty rate). Five of the eight Northeast Tennessee counties have a higher percentage of persons living below the poverty level than the State of Tennessee.
According to Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap 2013: Food Insecurity report, 14.4% of Northeast Tennesseans (72,580 individuals) are considered food insecure; 1 in 4 children (26,830 under age 18) are considered food insecure.
In FY 2013, Second Harvest distributed 8.8 million pounds of food (equivalent to over 7.3 million meals)