Idaho Food Bank describes impacts on increased food insecurity due to pandemic
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) -The Idaho Food Bank says the number of people in need for food in Idaho is the highest it has ever been, and those numbers continue to increase and show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
A long line outside a food pantry, families, and individuals waiting in the cold in a face mask. That is one example of what food insecurity looks like in 2020. Many Idahoans are without income and for the first time are struggling to meet basic needs. The most recent data from the Idaho Department of Labor shows a 3% increase in unemployment continued claims.
“It is at a higher level then we have ever seen, and we have been serving the state of Idaho for 35 years,” said Idaho Food Bank president and CEO, Karen Vauk.
The Idaho Food Bank projects more than 240,000 Idahoans may experience food insecurity in 2020, now that is one in every seven individuals.
In the Magic Valley, for our safety we can’t see the inside of hospitals, but we can see the long lines of people at food pantries hoping to find their next meal.
The Idaho Food Bank says the need for food may be the biggest illustration of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities.
“Looking ahead, we can see that this is going to continue for a period of time so we are really concerned about those numbers,” Vauk said. “It’s real, and the impact is real.”
KMVT stopped by Martha and Mary’s Food Panty this Friday Afternoon and saw a line leading out the door and out onto the sidewalk. Renee Briggs was one of the many in line outside Martha and Mary’s food pantry this Friday afternoon.
“My husband has been out of work, and we did not have food at home so we were told to come down here,” Said Briggs.
The Idaho food banks says they understand how there is still some time before a COVID-19 vaccine is available for Idahoans, and they are prepared to see this increased need for food well into 2021.
If anyone in the community needs help please go to The Idaho Foodbank’s Food Assistance Locator at idahofoodbank.org/getfood/
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