Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Food insecurity on the rise in Shoshone County, statewide

Staff Writer | June 11, 2024 1:00 AM

Food insecurity is rising across the state, with Shoshone County topping the chart with about 2,220 people, 16.5% of the population, experiencing instability around providing stable food sources, according to Map the Meal Gap report recently released through Feeding America.

In Kootenai County, 19,550 individuals experienced food insecurity, totaling 11% of the population.

Food insecurity is a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life due to limited financial resources, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The report uses data from 2022, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the USDA Economic Research Service. 

Map the Meal Gap found that in Idaho 220,990 people are food insecure. That notes an increase from 8.2% the previous year to 11.4% of the population this year.

Randy Ford, president and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank, said in a press release the results from the report are consistent with the increased levels of need emerging across the state.

“We will continue to collaborate with our food distribution partners and other community partners and supporters around the state to help our neighbors who are struggling with rising costs,” Ford said.

Overall, the highest rates of food insecurity in Idaho are in Shoshone County 16.5%, Lewis County at 16.4%, Butte County 16.4%, and Washington County 15.5%.

This year’s Map the Meal Gap report also found that 67,590 Idaho children are experiencing food instability at 14.5%, up from the 8.6% last year.