Moreno Valley California is located within the Riverside County of California. In order to better understand the actual level at which hunger exists in Moreno Valley there are several aspects to consider. Obtaining indicators include exploring such information as homelessness proportions, poverty concentrations, statistics surrounding children of the area, and average gross annual income rates. Data retrieved by the Department of Public Social Services indicates that the unsheltered homeless count for Riverside County is 19% (2016). 20% of the population of Moreno Valley lives below poverty line (Data USA, 2016) Upon individual review of this data retrieved it would appear that although homeless rates have decreased in the last year, the citizens living under poverty level remain around the same rates.
In order to gather a better understanding of the data available in assessing hunger issues in Moreno Valley, data collected from the local school districts are utilized. The USDA reports that, across America, “In 2011, households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6% vs. 12.2%” (DoSomething.org, 2016), thus indicating that the most omnipresent evidence of hunger in Moreno Valley will be undoubtedly derived from data surrounding the children in the area. After all, the most innocent individuals most impacted from the effects of hunger are children. Children must inherently depend on their guardians for nutritional balance, therein focusing on the statistics of children provide information for how Moreno Valley can address hunger. The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health data has equated that as of 2015 nearly 59% of student population is eligible for free lunches. This is important to note due to the fact that this indicates those household incomes are “less than 44,000 annually for a family of four” (Kids Data, 2016). This is substantial in determining that Moreno Valley struggles with issues of hunger throughout the community.
Data amassed indicates that 10 years prior to this point in time; 2004, gross annual income rates were doubled (Data USA, 2016) and Moreno Valley community allocated far less indicators that hunger plagued the community as it does now. After a drastic fall in household income around a decade prior to current date, the last 5 years have fluctuated at a very low frequency rate; having some positive changes (like that of homeless rates decreasing; mentioned previously) but those changes being subtle and frequently negatively reflected the following year (Data USA, 2016). With the data collected one could assume that the hunger problem for the Moreno Valley stems from the majority of the community members living below poverty levels. Moreno Valley is currently implementing funds towards affordable housing, a Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and foreclosure prevention assistance. (City of Moreno Valley, 2016) All programs are geared towards stabilizing the community via maintaining shelter; this would help to explain the reported decrease in homeless rates over the past year.
To further assist in alleviating the hunger issues amongst Moreno Valley residents a plan could ensue that allocates funding towards local business. Furthermore, if funding allows, take this allocation a step further and grant a stimuli to businesses that would only be granted if applied directly to employee wages. Taking this avenue would cut cost in the current amount of funding that is being enlisted towards housing. This would foreseeably allow for a positive psychological/sociological impact across the community as well; wherein individuals are earning their housing and living expenses through employment, rather than receiving a hand-out. Furthermore, less funding needed towards providing housing would also allow for further business venture possibilities within the community. It has been duly noted through Stanford Social Review that in “pay(ing) for the cost of expanding or to attract investors [maintains] a good chance for high returns” (2016), wherein the City of Moreno Valley could place more focus.
- City of Moreno Valley. (2016). Neighborhood Development Programs. Retrieved from http://www.moreno-valley.ca.us/city_hall/departments/fin-man-serv/neighborhood.shtml
- Data USA. (2016). Moreno Valley, CA. Retrieved from https://datausa.io/profile/geo/moreno-valley-ca/#economy
- DoSomething.org. (2016). 11 Facts About Hunger in the US. Retrieved from https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-hunger-us
- Department of Public Social Services. (2016, May 9). Riverside County 2016 point-in-time homeless count report. Retrieved from http://www.riversidehomelesscounts.com/price_list
- Kids Data. (2016). Student Eligibility to Receive Free or Reduced Price School Meals – Kidsdata.org. Retrieved from http://www.kidsdata.org/topic/518/free-school-meals-eligible/bar#jump=children-faring&fmt=675&loc=2,367,1095&tf=84&sort=loc
- Stanford Social Innovation Review. (2016). Creating a funding environment for scaling up social impact. Retrieved from https://ssir.org/articles/entry/creating_a_funding_environment_for_scaling_up_social_impact