Bridging the hunger gap
As Idaho's economy continues to improve and more jobs come available, some people are finding themselves too rich for benefits, but too poor to pay bills. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
As Idaho's economy continues to improve and more jobs come available, the Idaho Foodbank says, they're seeing a trend.
"As the economy improves, more people are finding jobs,” says Jenifer Johnson with the Idaho Foodbank. But, in Idaho's case many of them are minimum wage jobs, they just can't make ends meet."
Johnson says 35 percent of Idahoans make too much money for food stamps, but make too little to pay all their bills.
So, they turn to organizations like the Foodbank.
"That frees up their budget to be able to pay for things, like fuel, as gas prices increase, or electricity, or an unexpected medical emergency,” Johnson says.
The Foodbank isn't the only charity in the Treasure Valley feeling the pinch.
"I would say, half the people that live here at the Boise Rescue Mission have jobs. 40-hour-a-week jobs - that they go to every day,” says Rescue Mission cook John Grimes. “They work diligently, but it's just not enough to get out on their own."
John Grimes is one of those people, recovering from. He says, folks making minimum wage are able to pay some bills, but a lot fall to the wayside.
"The level of pay, versus the level of what it costs to keep yourself up every month, it doesn't really work out,” he says.
Grimes says even if you work for more than minimum wage, you're not that far from the 91,000 Idahoans working every day and still coming up short...
“If they get sick in that month and they don't have sick leave, or, ya know, if they have a child that's sick and they can't work, ya know, their average 40 hours a week, they are very close to homelessness,” he says.