Food insecurity: A statistic that’s alarming here

The Lock Haven Area YMCA provides up to 170 kids in its daycare program with food packs at the end of each week and has been doing so since September.

Why?

Because 1 in 5 kids in Clinton County is food insecure.

What’s food insecure?

It’s the percentage of the population who do not have access to a reliable source of food.

The measurement is gained from annual community surveys … surveys many local social service agencies use to gauge need and react.

It’s estimated that 14 percent of Clinton County’s total population of around 39,000 people is food insecure.

That’s roughly 5,500 people.

Alarming?

It should be.

Yet, the state average is the same:14 percent. The range in Pennsylvania counties is 10 percent to 21 percent

Who’s worse?

Cameron, Centre (hungry college kids), Dauphin, Fayette and Luzerne.

The very worst is Philadelphia County at 22 percent.

The database at www.countyhealthrankings.org reveals these and other statistics.

Back to the YMCA.

Executive Director Kody Graham talked about the school food pack program in outlining the services, programs and, most importantly, the impact the YMCA has during a recent speech to a local service club.

Graham talked about how lacking constant access to food is related to negative health outcomes such as weight-gain and premature mortality.

He talked of the direct services the Y offers to serve people across all ages.

That’s one of the reasons why the YMCA is unique.

But his information on food insecurity should hit home.

Yes, home … where we hope our children are cared for, nurtured and reared to be hard working, productive citizens.

No child or adult should go hungry.

No child or adult should wonder where his or her next bite to eat will come from.

We congratulate the YMCA and the other local service agencies for stepping up.

Are you?

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