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In working together, we will change the statistics of the hungry in our community, and we will do it with kindness and dignity. 

Idaho County has a 21% poverty level - with a 19.3% food insecurity rate.  These  levels may have changed since they were last available.  

Food stamps are now being denied if the family car has too high of value, etc. 

Families are living together to make ends meet.  We see households of 14 or more people under one roof.  Sometimes there are several campers on one piece of property using one house.   Other times families are sleeping on the floors.   The incomes are either very limited, or they are without income at all. 

Senior citizens coming in are on extremely limited incomes and the food stamps for them are such a small amount that its almost not worth their time to fill out the paperwork. 

What most of us do not realize, is that we have hunger right here in Idaho County and the State of Idaho as well as throughout the United States.   It is a condition of our society that is largely invisible to the untrained eye. 

Most Americans who are without adequate food do not advertise it.  Instead, they develop coping mechanisms to obtain just enough food so the overt symptoms of hunger - such as emaciation - are not apparent.   Examples are parents who eat less so their children will have more.  They send their children to others' homes for meals when possible.  They use public and private feeding programs. 

To confuse matters further, many food-deprived people are actually overweight.   Nutritionists offer two explanations for this phenomenon known as the "hunger-obesity paradox". 

The first explanation is that inexpensive foods that result in the feeling of being full are often high in calories and limited in nutrients.  When such foods comprise the bulk of the diet, the result is unhealthy weight gain. 

The second explanation for overweight appearances is that when food is hard to come by, we react by overeating when the food IS available. 

According to the last study reviewed:  "Household Food Security in the Unbited States" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, 16 percent (Idaho County - 19.3 percent) of Idaho's population suffers from food insecurity - the condition of not having access to adequate, nutritious food at all times for an active, healthy life. 

Food-insecure people worry that food will run out before their next check, and they juggle to stretch resources to feed themselves and their families. 

In addition to 19.3 percent food insecurity in Idaho County, 3.5 percent of Idahoans are food insecure with hunger, meaning they actually go hungry.  Idaho ranks 13th worst among 50 states in its prevalence of food insecurity. 

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