BRIDGE BUILDERS: MANNA FoodBank Executive Director Cindy Threlkeld, left, and Volunteer Coordinator Max Gruber, right, are working to alleviate food insecurity in WNC. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

The widening gap

Newly released data pulled from Feeding America’s 2012 Map the Meal Gap study shows a 2 percent increase in food insecurity in Western North Carolina. In that year, the study found, 15.3 percent of the region’s people lacked consistent access to enough food to meet their nutritional needs, up from 14.9 percent in 2011.