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Eye On Boise

Study: More Idahoans going hungry than ever before

Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank, releases a new hunger report on Wednesday that shows a 59 percent increase in Idahoans seeking emergency food from 2006 levels. (Betsy Russell)
Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank, releases a new hunger report on Wednesday that shows a 59 percent increase in Idahoans seeking emergency food from 2006 levels. (Betsy Russell)

More Idahoans are going hungry now than ever before, according to a new, once-every-four-years study released today by the Idaho Food Bank and "Feeding America," a national group. The numbers are up sharply - 142,200 Idahoans received emergency food last year, a 59 percent increase from 2006. "One of the messages we're sending to the Legislature is to increase the dialogue about the partnership between the non-profit charitable sector and the public system," said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Food Bank. "Neither of us can really do it on our own. ... We couldn't meet the need, there's no way."

The Food Bank released the report in a hearing room at the state Capitol today. Among its findings: Only 36 percent of households receiving food from emergency food banks are on food stamps; many said they had to choose between paying for food, heat, rent, or medical care; and Idaho currently has the second-fastest growing food stamp case load in the nation.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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