October is Idaho Hunger Awareness Month
Activities Happening Saturday, October 22nd in Eastern Idaho
Pocatello, ID – October is Hunger Awareness Month in Idaho, which shines a light on the challenges for individuals and families facing hunger. This is also an opportunity to highlight and strengthen the partnerships and coalitions that work together to address hunger in Idaho.
Nearly 9 percent of Idahoans – over 152,000 people – are facing food insecurity according to the most recent Map the Meal Gap report from Feeding America, which is based on 2020 data. This includes 10.5 percent of Idaho children.
Rural counties in Idaho, and across the United States, continue to have some of the highest rates of food insecurity. Rural counties make up 63 percent of all U.S counties but represent 87 percent of counties with food insecurity rates in the top 10 percent. In other words, counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural. The Idaho Foodbank’s mobile pantries are one of the tools to serve our rural communities.
For the first time, this year’s Map the Meal Gap report includes additional information about food insecurity by race/ethnicity. This report found that 17 percent of the Hispanic population in Idaho is experiencing food insecurity. The Idaho Foodbank is continuing to refine our services to rural, marginalized, and high need communities in Idaho.
Recognizing the short-term and long-term impact hunger is having on individuals and communities, the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in the last fifty years was held at the end of September. Prior to the conference The Idaho Foodbank shared feedback with the White House and Feeding America from our listening sessions with Idahoans who have experienced food insecurity. We will continue to engage in the follow-up discussions and activities around the national strategy announced at the conference.
“Collaboration is the key to solving food insecurity in Idaho,” said Kia Shaw, Eastern Branch Manager of The Idaho Foodbank. “We are grateful for the support in our community and the work of our partners to solve hunger and improve the lives of the people we serve.”
During Idaho Hunger Awareness Month there are several activities in Eastern Idaho. On Saturday, October 22nd the Grand Teton Council’s Boy Scouts will be holding the annual Scouting for Food Drive to help support the Pocatello branch of The Idaho Foodbank and our partners. There will be various locations in Eastern Idaho, including Pocatello and Idaho Falls, where people can drop off their non-perishable food items for the Food Drive. The full list of drop off locations and most needed non-perishable food donations can be found at idahofoodbank.org/scouts.
The Pocatello branch of The Idaho Foodbank will also be hosting “Scare Away Hunger” – one of our Family Days of Volunteering. Families with children as young as four years old can do a one-hour volunteer shift at The Idaho Foodbank in Pocatello. Costumes are welcome and encouraged for those participating in “Scare Away Hunger”. Call the Pocatello branch of The Foodbank to find out if there are still shifts available.
More information on Idaho Hunger Awareness Month activities can be found on The Idaho Foodbank’s website and social media accounts.
If you or someone you know needs food assistance, please go to The Idaho Foodbank’s Food Assistance Locator: idahofoodbank.org/getfood.