CBS2 reports Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, has released its annual Map the Meal Gap report.
The report includes an analysis of food insecurity in Idaho before the pandemic, along with projections of how the pandemic may impact people facing hunger in 2021.
The Idaho Foodbank examines these numbers every year to determine hunger relief programs and services from both a state and local level.
The 2021 estimates reveal that 11.3 percent of Idahoans are expected to be food insecure this year. This equates to 202,390 people or 1 in 9 individuals. The forecast also predicts that 57,620 kids or 1 in 8 children may experience food insecurity.
Idaho’s food insecurity rate prior to the pandemic was 10.0 percent, according to the report. This equates to 179,580 people or 1 in 10 individuals.
The report also focused on children under 18 years old. It found that prior to the pandemic, 11.0 percent of Idaho kids lived in households without consistent access to adequate food. This percentage represents a total of 49,220 kids or 1 in 9 children.
“While we are fortunate that Idaho’s economy has done better than other states, we know that not all Idahoans are experiencing a successful recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic. On a daily basis many of our neighbors are still struggling to meet basic needs because of the rising costs of housing, gas, and other household items. We have Idahoans who are facing the reality of hunger for the first time,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank.
Over the past year The Idaho Foodbank has increased monthly food distribution statewide by an average of 38 percent to address the increased need.