Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, released its annual Map the Meal Gap in June 2020. The report includes analysis of food insecurity in Idaho before the coronavirus, along with projections on how the pandemic will impact people facing hunger locally and across the country. Their extensive research is based on data from 2018 and provides critical information regarding food insecurity rates at the national, state and county level. Feeding America also initiated an additional study to explore how food insecurity rates may increase in 2020 due to COVID-19. The results are staggering. See below for a list of national, state and regional comparisons.
The Idaho Foodbank examines these numbers every year to determine hunger relief programs and services from both a state and local level. This data also helps pinpoint rural and high need areas where the organization’s mobile pantry program can be most effective. In addition, the coronavirus impact projections allow The Foodbank to adjust its operations, spot issues and set goals to support the state as it navigates the progress of the virus and the recovery period. “We believe in the resilience of Idahoans, but in order to tap into that power you need to meet people where they are,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. “That is why we work closely with our network of over 400 partners to create services that provide each community relevant information and tools that build healthy habits.”
Map the Meal Gap is the only study that provides local-level estimates of food insecurity across the United States. Feeding America has released this report for ten consecutive years to offer insights on how food insecurity and food costs vary at the local level.
Please see the attached document for a list of data broken down by county. For an interactive map with additional details, please go to: https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2018/overall/idaho
MAP THE MEAL GAP 2020 – KEY HIGHLIGHTS
- In Idaho, more than 50% of people who are food insecure may not qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) due to their income level. This finding underscores the importance of protecting and strengthening the safety net of public food assistance while also investing in charitable programs that help to fill the gap for people who don’t qualify.
- Counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural. Rural counties – those outside of major metropolitan areas – make up 63% of all U.S counties, but 87% of counties with food insecurity rates in the top 10%.