Soda Springs, Idaho, employees volunteered recently to prepare over 1,000 individual meals to mitigate rural hunger in Southeast Idaho communities. The volunteers hand-packed individual and bulk food items at the Eastern Idaho Foodbank located in Pocatello, Idaho, approximately 50 miles from the company’s Soda Springs manufacturing facility.
Nearly 15 percent of Idaho’s residents are food insecure and 3.7 percent experience hunger. Idaho was named the eighth hungriest state in the United States, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Dr. Villas, a noted speaker on malnutrition portrays Southeast Idaho as “one of the most difficult places to live if you face hunger.”
The Idaho Foodbank distributed 10,670,417 meals (12,804,501 pounds of food) last fiscal year. Idaho continues to deal with the aftermath of the Great Recession, ranking tenth in the nation with the number of citizens working more than one job, while earning 79 percent of the national average wage. Many Idaho residents fail to recognize hunger as a societal challenge, and in general, hunger awareness lacks in rural regions, especially in Southeast Idaho.
Hundreds of Monsanto Company employees from nearly 40 different locations across North America are actively volunteering at local food banks across the United States. By volunteering, Monsanto employees are working to eliminate rural hunger while raising awareness to this pressing issue.