Childhood hunger still a problem in Idaho

Childhood hunger still a problem in Idaho

BOISE -- The number of kids who go hungry in Idaho has been growing.

A new study by Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, shows that 1 in 4 children in Idaho is at risk of going hungry. And for the second year in a row, Idaho is still trailing the nation in these childhood hunger rates. Idaho edged out the national average by 1.2 percent. The rate in Idaho is 22.8 percent.

The report also takes a look at childhood hunger down to the county level. In Ada County, the rate of child food insecurity is 19 percent. It's higher in Canyon County, which is at 26 percent, and even higher in Valley County at 31 percent.

Jenifer Johnson with the Idaho Foodbank says it has been under pressure to feed more children. She's been seeing an increase in participants at programs aimed at kids -- like the Picnic in the Park free lunch program.

We are seeing a slight increase, we're not seeing the growth that we saw last year, compared to this year but we experienced significant growth last year because we expanded our programs, said Johnson.

She tells us, after looking over the study, there's reason to believe that the numbers are higher in Idaho despite signs that the economy is improving.

It takes four to five years for a family to recover from sustained job loss, said Johnson.

Johnson also says with the increased need and the lack of donations during the summer months, she's worried about the supply at the Idaho Foodbank.

The foodbank is now asking for donations for non-perishable foods. They're also planning to hold fundraising events to raise more awareness and money.


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