Idaho is a hungry state but making progress

One of the most influential hunger policy makers in the U.S. visits Idaho — a state making progress when it comes to food insecurity, but one with lots of work left to do.

There was some cause for celebration at the third annual Idaho Hunger Summit in Boise on Tuesday.

In 2006, the first year the summit was held, Idaho was ranked as the eighth hungriest state in the union. Two years later, Idaho had improved, with a ranking of 13th.

This year’s rank of 29th represents progress — even as the state is seeing negative trends:

A rise in the number of Idaho children in poverty: 20 percent in 2009, up from 16 percent in 2008, according to the U.S. census 2009.

In 2008, 58 percent of babies born in Idaho received food assistance from Women’s, Infants and Children program during their first year.

An increased demand for emergency food assistance: Up 29 percent over last year, according to ”Hunger in America-Idaho Study, 2010.“

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