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WUNC reports from Greensboro about Guilford County and surrounding area.

North Carolina Has More Trouble Than Most Putting Food On The Table

North Carolina has more trouble putting food on the table than most other states, according to a nonprofit anti-hunger organization.

A reportfrom the Food Research and Action Center shows 17 percent of North Carolinians face food insecurity, making the state the 13th worst in the country.

Among the most troubled areas in North Carolina is Greensboro, where one in five people go hungry, according to the report. That's an improvement from one in four a couple years ago, but still higher than the national average. One in six Americans faces food hardship.

The report's author Randy Rosso said state nutrition programs, like SNAP, have only middling success. Common barriers include benefit office hours, locations and heavy case loads.

"In North Carolina, barely half the eligible kids are getting free or reduced price school breakfast," Rosso said. "And only 16 percent of eligible kids are getting meals during the summer through the summer food service program."

Still, Rosso said the state's hunger rate is improving since the recession.

"We know that if the economy continues to improve and North Carolina works to increase wages and create jobs, then hunger and food hardship will go down," he said.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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