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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

'Map the Meals Gap' shows rural NM counties have highest food insecurity

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Monday, June 10, 2024   

There's no shortage of food in America, but there's a huge food insecurity gap in New Mexico and other states.

Feeding America's latest report - Map the Meal Gap - looks at local-level estimates of food insecurity and food costs for every U.S. county and congressional district.

It includes data from the United States Department of Agriculture, that shows an increase in food insecurity in 2022.

Sonya Warwick is communications and events director for New Mexico's Roadrunner Food Bank.

"The meal gap grew 10 million meals," said Warwick. "We do know that definitely food costs had a contributing factor behind that, and also the fact that pandemic-era extended programs for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits came to an end."

Warwick said New Mexico has the eighth-highest hunger rate among all states for the overall population - about 15%, compared with 13.5% nationwide.

Food insecurity levels can vary based on unemployment, current poverty rates, and decades-old practices that have contributed to generational poverty.

Warwick said many food distribution sites in New Mexico have more people seeking assistance than food available - which increases the efforts needed by food banks.

Summer can be particularly tough for kids because they're no longer getting meals at school.

She said the new data confirm that food insecurity exists in every county in Roadrunner Food Bank's service area - but especially outside of urban areas.

"Counties with the highest percentages of hunger are all in rural communities," said Warwick. "Catron County at 35.6%, Sierra County at 33.7%, and then others - all above 30%. That's a significant amount of kids and families."

Hispanic and Latino New Mexicans - who account for 50% of the population - experience higher food insecurity rates than non-Hispanic whites.

Warwick noted that Roadrunner benefits from food and monetary donations, and is always in need of volunteers at the Albuquerque warehouse.

Last year Roadrunner provided more than 32 million pounds of food for more than 26 million meals.



Disclosure: Roadrunner Food Bank contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Community Issues and Volunteering, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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