We believe these are important markers, indicating the level of need and desperation in communities across Idaho and throughout the United States continues at alarming rates. Economic recovery is slow, and in many areas, still non-existent. We have to work together to maintain the social fabric of our communities and ensure everyone has access to basic nutrition. Homelessness, high medical bills & prescription costs, and prolonged unemployment take a heavy toll on the health and well-being of the most vulnerable families and individuals in our community.
- Food Research and Action Center: The 2011-2013 Report on Food Hardship reports on the ability of households across the United States to afford adequate food during the course of a year. From 2011-2013, Idaho ranked 17th in low or very low food security, with 15.1 percent of population reporting there were times when they did not have enough money.
- Blaine County School District Homeless Education Information: www.blaineschools.org
- AARP Foundation: Nine million older Americans face hunger and each day, millions of older adults are forced to choose between buying groceries or the medicine they need.
- Forum on Poverty, Aging & Hunger: http://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/info-2010/poverty-aging-hunger-forum.html
- In January 2013, 231,647 people in Idaho were on food stamps.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps low-income families. But in Idaho, 17 percent of people are food insecure. The hunger relief charity Feeding America says they don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Food Stamp Program Data: State-by-state breakdown
The Hunger Coalition: 2015 in Review
We served more than 160,000 meals through our Mobile Food Bank Program in 2015.
- We served 3,569 people in 2015, (17% of Blaine County population) compared to 1,620 people in 2010.
- In the 2014-2015 school year, a record high 5,058 “snack packs” were distributed to children facing hunger.
- We distributed 3,645 bottles of formula in 2015 to babies in need, compared to 1,395 bottles in 2013.
- On average, nearly 600 hungry children and adults attend a Mobile Food Bank each month.
- Many animals were fed, with 996 bags of pet food distributed through our “Paws for Hunger” program in 2015.
- Responsible for serving over 45,000 free, healthy meals since 2008, The Lunch Connection ensures local children have access to sufficient nutrition throughout the summer months
- Lunch in the Park, an addition to the Summer Food Program initiative to bring lunch to children in need in underserved neighborhoods and at summer camps serving at-risk youth, provided over 100 children with nutritious sack lunches in 2015.
- Through 2015, the Daily Bites program has provided nearly 98,000 nutritious, supplemental foods to over 1,400 children to help them thrive.
- In 2015, through grocery store rescue, food drives, garden and farm donations, and gleaning efforts, the people of Blaine County donated 88,000 pounds of food to help their neighbors in need.
- The Hope Garden harvested 1,326 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in 2015. This food was distributed through our mobile food bank.
- In 2015, 839 students from area schools toured the garden to learn about composting, bugs, plants that grow at elevation and more.
- Official unemployment rates have leveled off and are at 4.1% as of October 2014, but the living wage for one adult is $10.33 per hour.
(above the $7.25/hour minimum wage)
- Between 1999 – 2009, our population increased by 19%.
- A single parent with two children must make $24.33 an hour ($50,606 a year) for a living wage, the amount that is needed for an individual or family to meet their basic needs. Living Wage
- In order for a family of four to make a living wage, the parents must earn a collective $41,184. This is almost two times higher than the federal poverty line of $23,850.
- Blaine County ranks number 1 in the state of Idaho for the highest living wage, meaning a single adult needs to make $10.33 an hour. Living Wage
- 8.3% (1,767) of the Blaine County population live below the poverty level.
- More than 1,350 local students attending a Blaine County school qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, over 40% of total enrollment. Blaine County School District.
ACROSS THE STATE OF IDAHO: Spotlight on Poverty
21% of Idaho’s children live in poverty.
- 40% of single-parent families with children live below poverty.
- 27% of jobs are low wage – in 2014 minimum wage is $7.25/hour.
- With the teen birth rate at 33% (per 1,000), the number of grandparents raising grandchildren increased to 21,621.
- 38.6% of low-income families are employed.
- Idaho reports 109,000 children receiving food stamps (SNAP).
- 254,809 children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.
THROUGHOUT THE NATION:
1 in 4 people in a soup kitchen line is a child. School-age children who experience severe hunger, earn poorer grades and suffer higher levels of chronic illness, depression, and behavioral problems than children with no hunger. America’s Second Harvest, 2003
- The federal poverty line for a family of four is $23,850. Research suggests that to meet their basic needs, families actually need an income of roughly twice the official poverty level or $41,184 a year to meet the basic needs of a family of four.
- Children represent 24 percent of the population, but they comprise 34 percent of all people in poverty. Among all children, 45 percent live in low-income families and approximately one in every five (22 percent) live in poor families. Our very youngest children, infants and toddlers under 3 years of age, appear to be particularly vulnerable, with 49 percent living in low-income families, including 26 percent living in poor families. NCCP