Study says 14% of people in region are food insecure

By on May 17, 2024

Rate is 12.1% in Currituck, 12.3% in Dare, 21.6% in Hyde, based on 2022 data

Food Bank of the Albemarle (FBA) announced on Friday, May 17 that new figures from Feeding America’s Annual Map the Meal Gap study show that food insecurity has surged across northeastern North Carolina.

Map the Meal Gap is the only study that provides local-level estimates of food insecurity and food costs for every county and congressional district. The study builds upon the USDA’s latest report of national and state data, which showed a sharp increase in food insecurity in 2022 amidst historically high food prices and the expiration of many pandemic-era programs.

Food insecurity, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is “the lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life.” According to the data from the study, the food insecurity rate is 12.3% in Dare County; 12.1% in Currituck County; and 21.6% in Hyde County.

“The insights provided from the Map the Meal Gap study show that there are growing numbers of neighbors in our service area that need help,” said Liz Reasoner, Executive Director of Food Bank of the Albemarle. “Elevated food prices, along with rising costs of housing, utilities, essential medicines, and transportation all combine to create incredible challenges for our neighbors. No one should ever be hungry and collectively, we can ensure that all are fed.”

Som key findings of Map the Meal Gap include:

  • Food insecurity in our region has increased from 36,000 to 43,630 neighbors (14.7% of the population).
  • Overall, 1 in 7 people in northeastern NC are food insecure.
  • 1 in 4 children are food insecure.
  • In northeastern NC, food insecurity ranges from a low of 12% in Camden County to 21.6% in Hyde County.  Every county has food-insecure neighbors.
  • Child food insecurity is highest at 40.6% in rural Hyde County (1 in 2 children).
  • Here in NC, more than 35% of people facing hunger may not qualify for SNAP benefits.
  • In FBA’s service area, the average estimated cost per meal is $3.91, which reflects the growing need we see at Food Bank of the Albemarle for food pantry services.

For more information on hunger in northeastern NC and how you can make a difference today, visit the Food Bank’s website at:

The Map the Meal Gap study is supported by Conagra Brands Foundation and NielsenIQ/NIQ.

Additional key takeaways from the report can be found on the Map the Meal Gap website along with an interactive map that details food insecurity by geography, income, race and ethnicity.




Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Luminous

    I’m not surprised food insecurity is increasing. Or that there are more North Carolinians going to bed hungry. It is a fundamental violation of Christian values.

    Food prices at supermarkets are up higher than the overall rate of inflation post-COVID, and though the state has worked to ensure that people who could qualify for SNAP or EBT benefits (what used to be called “food stamps”) should apply, here’s the other key, from the article:

    “Here in NC, more than 35% of people facing hunger may not qualify for SNAP benefits.” There are numerous reasons why, such as a prior conviction of just one person in the household for a drug-related felony, a criminal offense that falls disproportionately in enforcement on poor people.

    Though there are some folks who love to beat the drum about welfare queens buying sirloin steak and king crab legs on food stamps, that’s not the reality of the way beneficiaries can afford to shop or do shop.

    Saturday, May 18 @ 6:27 pm
  • Browny Douglas

    The waters of coastal NC are saturated with sources of protein. I repeat, SATURATED. However, the ability of one to feed themselves OR others that may be hungry or in need of nutrition, has been basically eliminated by the NC DMF
    (junk science) cave to the Coastal CONservation Associations goal to end commercial fishing, thus putting the fun of fishing before the importance of fishing for FOOD!!!! A Country that cannot feed itself cannot defend itself or remain healthy.

    Sunday, May 19 @ 11:12 am
  • Facts

    Amen Browny. A government that controls the food, controls you!
    I believe the food insecurity is a direct result of drug and alcohol abuse. Whether people want to accept it or not, people trade or sell their ebt cards for drugs.
    No one should go hungry in Dare. There are so many resources at churches such as Source Church, as well as many others including food banks.
    Not a popular opinion BUT the government is NOT YOUR DADDY!!!
    This is a direct result of this Administration. Control.

    Monday, May 20 @ 10:13 am