- July 12th, 2011
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A Call to Action
With food supplies no higher than last year but need at a frighteningly increased level, a group of anti-hunger agencies held the Rally in the Valley Against Summer Hunger on Tuesday, July 12 at Winstead Park in Boise.
The message was a call to action: Food donations are not keeping up with the need this summer. At the valley’s food pantries, shelves are empty and families have been turned away. Food pantries, community kitchens and other organizations that supply emergency food need help from their communities.
Representatives from some of the Treasure Valley’s largest hunger-relief organizations spoke at the rally and described what they are seeing – an unprecedented upsurge in first-time recipients and a big increase in the number of times families come back for assistance.
Here is some of what the groups reported:
The Idaho Foodbank
* 1 in 6 Idahoans is food insecure (235,970 people); 66,600 of those are children under age 18 (16.3%), and 23,008 of that number are children under age 5. That rate is 20.2%, the 10th highest rate in the country.
* In fiscal 2011 the Foodbank distributed 10.57 million pounds, the highest ever, up 1.7 million pounds or 19% from FY 2010. The year before the increase was from 6.9 million pounds to 8.9 million pounds or 28%. And we are still not meeting the need.
* The Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park has doubled the number of meals served this summer compared to last year.
* 98.8% of our partner agencies have seen an increase in demand during the past year. Nearly 25% of them have seen increases of 30% or more.
* 79% of our partners have seen increases in new individuals and family needing help.
* 42% have seen previously served families and individuals coming in more often.
* In addition to food assistance, families asked 72% of our partners for help with utilities, 58% for help with transportation, and 55% for help with housing.
* 5.4% of our partner agencies have turned people away because the agency lacked food to give them. 9% turned people away because they came back for additional help too soon.
The Salvation Army (Ada County statistics)
First six months of 2011 compared to all of 2010
* Households: 2,988 (+16%)
* Number of people: 7,610 (+ 14.5%)
* Families: 2,144 (+15%)
* Single men: 489 (+13%)
* Single women: 355 (+26%)
* Seniors: 498 (+ 35%)
* Children: 2,566 (+16%)
Oasis Worship and Food Center in Caldwell – first six months of 2011
* Families served up 14%
* Individuals served up 17%
* Summer feeding program up 9%
These programs are just an example. The need is high statewide. If you can help, please donate cans of food at your closest food pantry or other emergency food provider. To help you, there is a list of all our partners at www.idahofoodbank.org. Click the “Get Help” tab.