Local area food banks need more donations
Anti-hunger advocates and government officials were among the group attending the fourth annual Idaho Summit on Hunger and Food Security in Boise Tuesday.
They learned about the current state of hunger in Idaho and tried to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools for how to end it.
In Idaho Falls, food bank volunteers said the demand for assistance has dramatically increased and community food drives, like the most recent boy scout drive, aren't bringing in as many donations as they used to.
"The need is every day," said Buck Horton, chairman of the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank.
Volunteers said lately, around 800 families depend on donations to the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank for their day-to-day meals.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.4 percent of those living in Idaho Falls live below the poverty level; the state average is 13.6 percent.
"We're up to about $300,000 that we've spent already this year," said Horton. "Last year it was only about $220,000 for the whole year and we've got two months left."
And that's because an increase in demand coupled with limited donations, means the food bank has to purchase items to make up the difference.
"At this point in the year, because of how much we've been spending, we've had to re-think our recipes," said Carol Christensen, a food bank volunteer.
Volunteers said the food bank looks unusually barren today, which is an indication of the growing need for assistance.
"It's the giving time of the year, but we could always use the help every day of the year because the needs of the people are every day of the year," said Horton.
Volunteers said there is always a need for donations, not just around the holiday season, so be sure to donate when you can.
Copyright 2013 NPG of Idaho. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.