Census data shows NV poverty 18th highest in nation
Nearly 16 percent of Nevadans last year were below the poverty line. That's according to new census data
Nevada's poverty rate is the 18th-highest in the nation and is slightly higher than the national average of 15 percent.
The federal poverty guidelines measure what is needed for families to have basic necessities, like food.
Jocelyn Lantrip with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada says her organization has seen a steady increase in people who need emergency food over the last few years.
About 1 in 5 people in Nevada are "food insecure" meaning that the food intake of one or more household members is reduced because they can't afford enough food for everyone.
Lantrip says that figure is even worse for children.
"One in four of our children don't have enough to eat, which is definitely an education issue. And it's especially dangerous in children that are under five years old because their brains are developing at a very fast rate."
Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture released data on food security
. 6.7% of Nevadans are in the "very low food security" category, which is the 8th highest rate in the country.
"When you're looking at very low food security, that is when people are missing meals extensively and children are missing meals extensively. So, that's a real scary number to be 8th in the nation.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada serves about 89,000 people each month.