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Data-Driven, Laser-Focused on Kids

Data-Driven Solutions to Close the Meal Gap

Data can be powerful and its value increases exponentially when combined with local expertise and community insights.

Core to HIP’s approach is our proprietary data analysis tool, the Child Nutrition Index. We use the Index to target populations of hungry children more precisely than has ever before in this country. Rather than identifying need based on relatively unreliable survey data, we ground our work in statistics targeting families who are eligible for federal child nutrition programs and Medicaid.

The Child Nutrition Index guides our goals and strategies and measures our progress. It also serves as a powerful communications tool, showing child hunger statistics to schools, community organizations, funders, and thought leaders with laser-focused data points that address their concerns.

CNI’s master database combines data from Minnesota’s Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, an unprecedented undertaking. From this expansive data file we can pinpoint needs, their severity, and their corresponding federal reimbursement revenue potential. We can then make strategic and cost-effective decisions, funding requests, and our own investments.

The CNI is a powerful tool that allows us to bring precision focus to addressing hunger among the 498,681 Minnesota children identified as at risk of going hungry at any given time.

Our independent evaluation parter, EnSearch, Inc., is responsible for creating the Child Nutrition Index for the ongoing synthesizing and analyzing of its data and for validating our progress.

The maps below show Hunger Impact Partners’ geographic focus areas with high concentrations of eligible children. The numbers indicate the number of sites with severe need.




Roughly 40% of Minnesota’s 498,681 children under age 18 are hungry and eligible for child nutrition programs.

167,805 infant and children from birth to 5

330,876 children ages 5 to 18


A conservative estimate suggests that child hunger costs Minnesota taxpayers $521 million annually.

$238 million in direct education costs.

$283 million in healthcare costs.

Our four strategic initiatives address underutilization of existing U.S. Department of Agriculture food programs. We know that available meals are not being served, depriving school kids of breakfast and afternoon meals. Infants, toddlers, and young children in daycare are receiving fractions of the food available to them. And we know that Minnesota is woefully inefficient in delivering food to kids during the summer months.


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