At the GTCCA meeting on September 17, 2015, GTCCA delegate Laurie Taylor-Mitchell briefly mentioned these statistics.
These statistics (compiled from data from the Maryland State Dept. of Education) show the numbers of children receiving Free and Reduced Meals (FARM) at schools and centers in the County. The asterisks indicate that there is a food pantry in the school.
The schools are organized by Councilmanic district. From left to right, the numbers for 2014 show how many children at a school receive FARM, the percentage of the student population, changes over the last 10 years, and increase or decrease since 2004.
- In the 5th Councilmanic District, 8 of 18 schools have poverty rates of 30% or more (two at 29.8% and 29.4% rounded up to 30% in poverty), and 2 schools have over 50% of children living in poverty. In the 1st, 4th, 6th, and 7th Districts, the majority of students in those schools live in poverty.
In 2013, the United Way of Central Maryland calculated the income needed to be self-sufficient in Baltimore County for a family of three (an adult and two children) to be $66,000 a year, or about 330% of the federal poverty guideline. The cost of living in Maryland, particularly for housing, is high.
Families in Baltimore County with incomes above 200% of the poverty guidelines (maximum to qualify for reduced meal rates) but below 330% of the federal poverty level are basically living in poverty and are not reflected in the data for the schools: “across all of Maryland’s counties the income needed to meet basic needs is far above the Federal Poverty Level.” [i]
- The current federal poverty guideline for a family of three in the lower 48 states is $20,090.[ii]
- Food Insecurity: In 2013, in Baltimore County over 33,000 children struggled with food insecurity, representing 18.7% of children in the County, and an increase from 31,190 in 2012.
- This level is the second highest level in the state and slightly more than Baltimore City.[iii]
- Over 100,000 people in Baltimore County experience food insecurity, and about 46% of them will not qualify for federal nutrition assistance.[iv]
[i] United Way of Central Maryland, (2013) United Way of Central Maryland: the State of Basic Needs, 2013, PDF. According to the United Way of Central Maryland (same document) in Howard County, the income required for self-sufficiency is close to 400% of the federal poverty level.
[ii] U.S. Federal: http://aspe.hhs.gov/2015-