A map of the Meal Gap study shows that food insecurity has increased to 15,290 more Panhandle residents face insecurities than last year.

This is the largest food insecurity level increase in the last two decades.

The High Plains Food Bank and the group Feeding America blame rising prices of mainly groceries and gas, along with COVID programs coming to an end.

The highest rate is 37% among families and 33% among children facing issues with how or when they will have their next meal.

 HPFB officials say a lot of the problem deals with food deserts where access to a grocery store nearby or access to food easily is not possible.

The High Plains Food Bank works with school districts and local agencies in 29 counties throughout the Panhandle to help with providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the school year and summer months when kids are at home.

If you need help or want to volunteer to the HPFB go to their website.