ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Southwest has some of the highest rates of childhood hunger in the country. That's according to a new study that says New Mexico is the most food insecure state in the nation.
The report, authored by Feeding America, ranked New Mexico first for child hunger, followed by Arizona in third place, Nevada in eighth, Texas in ninth place, and California tenth.
"Basically one-third of the children in the state are experiencing hunger," said Sonya Warwick of the New Mexico's Roadrunner Food Bank. "Two years ago when the study took place we were ranked about 11th, tied with several other states, and our food insecurity at that point was about 27.3 percent. So as the study has taken place over the last three years the rank of New Mexico has continued to fall in terms of our childhood hunger status."
Warwick said the rising numbers could be attributed to slow economic recovery in the Southwest, and that counties with high numbers of Latinos and Native Americans had some of the most severe rates of hunger in the region.