The Map The Meal Gap 2016 study shows Connecticut’s overall child food insecurity rate is 18 percent, representing  140,290 children statewide. Food insecurity is a phrase used by the USDA to describe lack of consistent access to adequate amounts of food for an active, healthy life.

In the Connecticut Food Bank service area, which includes Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham Counties, the child food insecurity rate is nearly 17 percent, or 95,600 children.

According to the study, 44 percent of the food insecure families in the Connecticut Food Bank service area do not receive federal food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps), free or reduced price school meals, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), because their families earn over the income limit to qualify.

Findings for the counties served by Connecticut Food Bank:

County Percent Number of Food Insecure Children
Fairfield 15.0 33,810
Litchfield 16.4 6,280
Middlesex 15.4 5,150
New Haven 18.6 34,690
New London 18.5 10,630
Windham 20.0 5,040
Total 16.9% 95,600

Map the Meal Gap 2016 is supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Nielsen. That data provides a detailed look at the additional food budget needed by families struggling with hunger. It would take more than $254 million to meet the needs of Connecticut’s food insecure population, or $17.78 per week for each food insecure person.

An executive summary and interactive map are available at

Connecticut Food Bank works with local growers, retailers, the food industry and community supporters to provide nutritious food to children who struggle with hunger. Watch this PSA produced for us by Feeding America that thanks all the “angels” who help.