Given its aura of affluence thanks to popular culture, it comes as a shock to many when they learn that Orange County has a surprisingly serious hunger problem. According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap 2016 data, 10.9 percent of county residents (approximately 335,000 people) experienced food insecurity in 2014. Of that number, 141,170 were under the age of 18. With about 750,000 children residing in Orange County, this means that one in five of the county’s young residents suffer some kind of food insecurity. County seniors suffer too, as recent data indicates some 44 percent of residents aged 65 and over struggle with accessing the healthcare, housing—and food–they need.
The list below includes a few of the Orange County organizations working to not only lower those numbers and increase access to fresh and nutritious food for those citizens who cannot afford to purchase it, but also to strengthen community via local food system development efforts. Read more