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Community Dinner Table barbecues to fight hunger

Dozens in Bingham County came out tonight to grab a bite to eat, chat with friends and support the Community Dinner Table. The barbecue is meant to let everyone know the organization is still there to provide hot meals during the coming winter months.

Regina and William Morrow have lived in Blackfoot for more than 50 years. They spend every Saturday night at the cowboy country church and every Tuesday evening between October and March at the Community Dinner Table.

“It is good,” said William Morrow.

On this Tuesday evening, the Morrows were greeting familiar faces over plates of burgers and baked beans. But the sizzles of summer also served as a reminder.

“(To) remind people there’s still need,” said Chris Cannon, a dinner table board member.

The Community Dinner Table is sponsored by two dozen groups of area faith communities with the mission to reduce hunger.

While food insecurity decreased across the United States between 2009 and 2010, according to the most recent Map The Meal Gap study, it grew 1.2 percent in the Gem State, affecting 17 percent, or more than 267,000 Idahoans.

That study reveals 14 percent of Bingham County went hungry at some point in 2010.

“There has been a pretty dramatic increase in need for assistance,” said Cannon.

Cannon said the dinner table will never be able to fulfill all needs, but it’s one way to help. Plus, he said, for some, it’s about having a place to go.

“They come out not because they have an empty fridge, but because they’re lonely,” said Cannon.

“It sure helps a lot of people,” said William Morrow. “I know it sure helps me, anyway.”

For fiscal year 2012, the Idaho Foodbank served 9.5 million meals.That’s a 9-percent increase from the year before.

For more information or to see hunger statistics in your county, visit:

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