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Food Bank: Hunger Rising In Idaho

The Idaho Food Bank has released its Map the Meal Gap study and says hunger in Idaho is on the rise.

The study shows the percent of food insecure people in the state rising from 15.8 percent to 17 percent.

That small percentage increase means 31,000 more people in Idaho are worried about keeping their families fed.

The Idaho Food Bank has gone county by county, measuring and calculating just how many people are food insecure.

“They truly don’t have an understanding of where the next meal is coming from or they have grave concerns about how they are going to feed themselves and their families consistently,? Pocatello Food Bank Branch Manager Joye Jones said.

Michael Danderkooi used to donate money to organizations like the food bank, but since disability took his work from him, he donates his time.

He comes in almost every day and volunteers in his wheelchair.

He said may people may not realize it, but almost everyone know someone facing hunger.

“Hunger is an invisible crisis, and unless you actually really think about it and you’re not hungry, you don’t realize that your neighbors or your friends might not have the food they need,? Danderkooi said.

According the food bank’s numbers, one in six people in Idaho is food insecure.

About half of the people the food bank said are suffering from hunger don’t qualify for any government help.

“The downturn in the economy really hit that segment of people who have not been chronically hungry,? Jones said.

Jones said as the economy improves, many receiving help right now will become those giving it.

“Those will be some of the first people to get on their feet and want to help others, because they understand that it can happen to anyone,? Jones said.

Click here to see the county-by-county hunger numbers.

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