Food security is reliable access to sufficient and affordable nutritious food.
Food insecurity, in contrast, is limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe food and the inability to acquire those foods in a socially acceptable way. Food insecure individuals report reduced quality, variety, and desirability of their dietary choices. They often turn to inexpensive foods, which are often high in fat, salt, and sugar.
IIRAH’s policy agenda is to ensure food security for all Idahoans. We shares Chef José Andrés’ sentiment that “Food is at the core of how we make smart policies and smart decisions.” Past activities have included hosting public forums on nutrition security and food deserts.
Who doesn’t get enough food in Idaho?
Individuals and families throughout Idaho do not get enough nutritionally adequate and safe foods. According to the Idaho Food Bank, nine percent of Idahoans (1 in 11) are food insecure – more than 150,000 people. The rates of food insecurity are higher in the rural counties of Shoshone, Lewis, and Adams. In these areas, 14 to 16% of individuals and families are food insecure.
A higher percentage of our kids are food insecure. Ten percent (1 in 10) of Idaho children are food insecure. The counties with the highest rates of childhood food insecurity are Shoshone, Lewis, and Adams.
The Idaho Food Bank has resources for food insecure individuals and families, such as the Food Assistance Locator.
IIRAH advocates for funding government programs that fund programs like the Idaho Food Bank and other food security programs. For example, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, helps low-income families buy the food they need to stay healthy. The SNAP program is funded through the Federal Farm Bill.