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As Hispanic population grows in Idaho, cities statewide adjust to provide resources

Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 21:18:14-05

MAGIC VALLEY — The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs says the Hispanic population in Idaho is growing rapidly, but they also face more challenges when it comes to food insecurity, the pandemic, and other factors.

But during the 2021 State of The Hispanic Community event, Mayors throughout Idaho addressed the different challenges and the resources they are working to provide.

“There are food deserts in the city of Caldwell and we are trying to address those issues. Unfortunately, some of those things are in largely Hispanic populated areas. So a couple of things we have done we have worked closely with United Way and the Caldwell school district to start a community school program within the elementary schools in the city of Caldwell," Caldwell Mayor Garret L. Nancolas, said.

Some cities throughout Idaho made some changes during the pandemic to lend a helping hand to the Hispanic and Latino community, after noticing the virus was not only affecting their health.

“We’ve seen in that the inequities that exist, in care and access and ultimately we’ve really wanted to learn from the experience of the last year," Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, said.

Mayor McLean says they even worked with school districts and community centers to make sure they remained open during the pandemic.

“Particularly for frontline workers and others who didn’t have the choice to work from home but instead had to go to work to take care of their kids while they were off working and taking care of us," McLean said.

The 2021 Hispanic Profile Databook released by the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs found that not only is the Hispanic population growing in Idaho but so are Hispanic-owned businesses.

“As Idaho’s Hispanic population continues to grow, our buying power also grows and so do the number of businesses that we own. That expanding Hispanic contribution will continue to add to Idaho’s diverse and vibrant economy." Margie Gonzalez, Executive Director of Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, said.