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Study: Some Improvement, But Still Too Much Hunger in Idaho

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There are some signs of recovery in the latest statistics on hunger in Idaho, but the fact remains that too many people—particularly children—go to bed hungry in the Gem State.

The new analysis from Feeding America, called "Map the Meal Gap," examines data from 2014 and reveals that Idaho's food insecurity rate is 14.7 percent of the total population, representing 241,080 people—down from 250,830 in last year's study. The report also found hunger affected 19.3 percent of Idaho's children, or 83,110 children under the age of 18. 

Hardest hit for total food insecurity were Madison (20.5 percent), Shoshone (19.2), Lemhi (18.5) and Latah (18) counties. For children, the highest rates of food insecurity were in Lemhi (26.7 percent), Shoshone (24.9) and Adams (23.9) counties.

In the Treasure Valley, Ada County registered a 14.2 percent food insecurity rate, representing an estimated 58,120 total people. In Canyon County, there was a 14 percent food insecurity rate, representing an estimated 24,420 people. Among children, there was a 17.4 percent food insecurity rate in Ada County, representing 18,330 children; and there was a 20.7 percent food insecurity rate in Canyon County, representing 12,400 children.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Foodbank reports it is currently serving more than 163,000 people through 230 community partners each month. During the most recent fiscal year, the Foodbank distributed food that made up more than 13.4 million meals. Foodbank officials quickly added that it would take as many as 22 million to feed the 241,080 Idahoans in need.