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Idaho Hunger “By the Book”

February 19, 2009

Boise, ID – Hunger "by the book" in Idaho shows families living in rural counties more-commonly face the challenge of putting food on the table - compared to those living in cities. The new Idaho Hunger Atlas from the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force is being unveiled today, featuring county-by-county breakdowns on hunger and food insecurity.

Task force Director Kathy Gardner says they found even basic access to nutritious, healthy food can’t be taken for granted in rural areas.

"They don’t have Wincos or superstores. They may have a little corner store that’s also a gas station, and their bread may be five dollars a loaf."

Gardner says ending hunger in Idaho requires a blueprint designed by all the players: agriculture, the State Department of Education, emergency food providers, faith-based groups, the Food Stamp program.

"Where is the path to food security for all Idahoans? This isn’t rocket science. We know how to end hunger, we just need to have the public will to do that."

The hunger atlas is a first-of-its-kind publication for Idaho, and one that just a few other states have compiled. The Task Force hopes the information helps policy-makers design ways to end hunger and food insecurity.

A news conference is scheduled today at noon, at Bishop Tuttle House at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID