Nearly one in four children in Solano County went hungry sometimes in 2010, a new study is reporting.
The new report, released by the national group Feeding America and the local Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, found 22.4 percent of Solano residents under 18 had difficulty finding food whenever they needed it.
The national study, “Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011,” found hungry children in every county in the country and said more children were impacted than adults.
Nearly 16 percent of Solano residents overall suffered from periodic food shortages last year, the report said.
Hunger is “a problem in our community,” Solano’s health and social services director, Patrick Duterte, told the Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper.
“There are times when people have money during the month but, at some point, their money may run out,” he said.
Lisa Sherill, a Food Bank spokeswoman, said the findings were not surprising.
“From the clients we’ve talked to we’ve heard that a lot of them are unemployed or unable to find work or they are just not able to make enough,” Sherrill told the newspaper.
“They are in a bind to have enough food to feed their families.”
Particularly alarming, Sherill said, was that half of the county’s hungry kids come from families well above the federal poverty line, meaning their families do not qualify for most food programs.
The report blamed the lackluster national economy and persistently high unemployment for the food crisis, the newspaper said.
Solano County officials said families needing help with food should contact their offices in Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville to see if they qualify for food stamps, now known as CalFresh benefits.
County offices are at 365 Tuolumne St. in Vallejo, phone: (707) 553-5000; 275 Beck Ave. in Fairfield, phone: (707) 784-8050; or 354 Parker St. in Vacaville, phone: (707) 469-4500.
Residents also can apply online at www.benefitscalwin.org, the newspaper said.