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Food insecurity numbers still above the national average

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A national study says the rate of food insecurity has gone down, but locally the problem is still a major concern.

"Map the Meal Gap" is a study from Feeding America that breaks down the issue so local officials can understand what may be needed to combat food insecurity.

Across the nation the study shows 14 percent of people are food insecure, which is down from 15 percent in last year's report.

Our eight county region comes in at 14.4 percent. Hancock County has the highest rate at 18.7 percent and Sullivan is the lowest at 13.6 percent.

"Even though the Map the Meal Gap numbers are down slightly, we have not seen a decline in the demand for our services. We have continued to see large numbers, significant steady numbers of those needing food assistance," Second Harvest of Northeast TN Executive Director Rhonda Chafin said.

Chafin says their Postal Carrier Food Drive didn't bring in as much as last year.

She says you can still help by giving monetary donations or you can even take non perishable food items to your local fire station.

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