When safety nets are taken away a lot of people go hungry in Idaho

Do you know the term “food security”? It has to do with the availability of food where you live and your ability within that area to gain access to, afford and obtain adequate amounts of it. According to the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. The United Nations in 1948 wrote and passed a document called the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. All but the fascist countries voted for it. One of the rights listed in the declaration was the right to food. In the United States, most people are food secure. But 10.5 percent of us aren’t. Today a press release was sent out by the organization Hunger Free America stating that on Thursday at the Idaho Hunger Summit, Hunger Free America is set to release a new report showing that food insecurity in Idaho nearly doubled between 2021 and 2023. This is troubling, since Idaho’s food insecurity percentage in 2021 was reported as 8.2, a little better than the national average. Nearly doubling that means that possibly 15 or 16 percent of Idahoans don’t know at some point during the year whether they’ll get to eat when they need to. Why? You’ll have to wait for the Idaho Hunger Summit to find out for sure, but in the press release they included the fact that key parts of the federal safety net, including SNAP food benefits, universal school meals and the expanded child tax credit cash payments, which were all boosted during the pandemic, were all sharply curtailed last year. Meanwhile, the cost of food, housing, childcare and other basic needs have sharply risen. If you are interested in the Idaho Hunger Summit, you’ll have to hear about it when it’s over, because the tickets are sold out. Clearly, eating is important to a lot of people. Probably everybody. The summit starts Thursday morning with, somewhat appropriately, continental breakfast at the Riverside Hotel on Chinden Boulevard in, also somewhat appropriately, Garden City.