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According to the USDA, over 16 million children live in food insecure (low food and very low food security) households in the United States in 2010. Essentially that is 22% of children living in poverty in the United States.

In Idaho, more than 80,000 children live in poverty, with 31,000 living in extreme poverty, which is 19% and 7.5% of Idaho’s population.

Additionally, 170,863 children in Idaho participate in the School Lunch Program and 94,000 children in Idaho receive food stamps.
(This data is compiled as of January 26, 2012. For data sources and methodological notes, visit www.childrensdefense.org/cits.)

Proper nutrition is essential to the growth and development of children. Not only are these children not receiving enough food to develop healthy bodies and brains, but they return to school Monday morning ill from lack of food over the weekend. Research indicates that hungry children do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate. (Cook, John. Feeding America. “Child Food Insecurity; the Economic Impact on our Nation”, 2009)