Starting in 2011, Map the Meal Gap, a national study conducted by Feeding America, has provided critical information about the nature and extent of hunger in communities across the U.S. This year’s data come from 2016.
Methodology: Feeding America begins by analyzing the relationship between food insecurity and indicators of food insecurity and child food insecurity (poverty, unemployment, homeownership, etc.) at the state level. They then use the coefficient estimates from this analysis plus information on the same variables defined at the county level to generate estimated food insecurity rates for individuals or children at the county level.’
Idaho Hunger Statistics – Updated May 2, 2018:
- The numbers improved for the third consecutive year, by 0.8 percentage points.
- 1 in 8 Idahoans (221,800 people or 13.2%) is food insecure (down from 232,180, 14% from last year).
- 72,840 Idaho children are food insecure. This is about 1 in 6 Idaho kids or 16.7% (down from 76,070 and 17.6% from last year).
- Idaho has 7 counties with childhood hunger higher than 20%. That’s down from 9 last year, 20 in 2016 and 30 in 2015.
- North central Idaho has seen a decrease in overall food insecurity (16,560 and 15.4%, overall down from 16,870 and 15.8%/ 3,640 and 17.2% child, down from 3,800 and 18%).
- Eastern Idaho has seen a decrease (49,400 and 13% overall, down from 51,560 and 13.6%/ 18,100 and 16.2% child, down from 19,070 and 17.1%).
- Nearly 1 in 3 people who need assistance have income levels that prevent them from getting government assistance (34%). This number is up 5% from last year.
- More than half of the people who are food insecure make too much to receive most government assistance (51%)
- Overall food insecurity and rate have both hit levels below the first run of data from 2009 (2011 release) for the second consecutive year
- The economy may be improving, but many people are still not seeing the benefits.
- 5 counties are showing overall food insecurity rates below 10%. Same as last year.
- This study uses 2016 statistics, which are the most recent available.
- Idaho’s hungry are falling short by nearly 6 meals every week. That’s two full days.
- The average meal cost in Idaho has increased to $2.93 (up from $2.92)
- Food is getting more expensive and Idaho’s hungry are falling further behind.
Map the Meal Gap 2017
“Map the Meal Gap” estimates the rate of food insecurity for both the general population and, separately, for children under the age of 18. The estimates are calculated at both the county and congressional-district level for the entire U.S. It is the only study to report food insecurity data at the county level. The Idaho Foodbank is part of the Feeding America network.
The 2018 Map the Meal Gap study was released in May 2018. It is based on statistics from 2016, which are the most recent available.
Idaho Statewide Data by County