The Kansas Association of Community Action Programs this month released a report details the prevalance of hunger and poverty in Leavenworth County, along with the state’s 104 other counties.
The KACAP, an organization that oversees the network of local poverty-fighting organizations like the Northeast Kansas Community Action Program that serves Leavenworth County, produced the report. It gathers data regarding poverty levels and measures “food security” — defined as having “enough nutritious food, through socially acceptable means, to support a healthy lifestyle.”
According to the report, 15 percent of all Kansans were identified as food insecure in 2010, the year for which data was used to produce the report. The highest rate among all Kansans is in Wyandotte County, where 20.3 percent of residents are considered food insecure. The lowest rate is in 8.1 percent in Stanton County, located in the southwestern portion of the state, which KACAP identified as generally having the lowest percentages of food insecurity. The southeastern portion of the state was identified as generally having the highest rates of food insecurity. In raw numbers, food insecurity tends to be concentrated in the most populous areas of the county. In Leavenworth County, 14.4 percent of residents are considered food insecure.
The rate among children was according to the study higher than that for the population as a whole, with 22.7 percent, or 162,000, of Kansas children identified as food insecure. The highest rate by county was in Woodson County, where 32.8 percent of children lack adequate food, while the lowest rate was in Greeley County, where 13.6 percent of children are considered food insecure. In Leavenworth County, 19.5 percent of children are food insecure.
The report also gives a snapshot of poverty in the state. It indicated that Leavenworth County’s median household income, at $60,848, was higher than the state average of $47,888. And while the poverty rate for both all residents and children was less than the state average, at 9.4 and 12.7 percent, respectively, the average unemployment rate was higher than that of the state as whole, as was the rate of participation in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP.