Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hunger in Idaho

The Idaho Foodbank has published their just completed statewide hunger reports here: Idaho Food Bank.

There are some interesting statistics, especially in light of our legislature recently voting down an increase in the Idaho minimum wage.

The food distribution system in Idaho provides emergency food for an estimated 89,700 different people annually. (over 5% of our population)
32% of the members of households in Idaho are children under 18 years old.
10% of the members of households are children age 0 to 5 years
4% of the members of households are elderly
43% of households include at least one employed adult
85% have incomes below the official federal poverty level during the previous month.

These last two statistics really point to the issue. Many households have working adults, are below the poverty level, and must still get outside food assistance. I can't imagine how devastating this must be to an individuals perspective of themselves and their contribution to society. We as a society need to do more to empower all of our members to lead productive and successful lives. Paying them more than $5.15 an hour would be a good start.

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