About the Safety Net
Meeting basic needs is the first step toward family financial security. Parents cannot think about saving for retirement if they can’t pay to see the doctor for a bad cold or their child is hungry. The safety net helps struggling families cover the cost of essentials, like groceries.
The Safety Net in Idaho
Feeding America reports that 13.2 percent of Idahoans are food insecure. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps these struggling families by providing $1.28 per meal on average to offset some of the cost of groceries. One in 5 Idaho children and 12 percent of Idaho households participate in SNAP. Charitable organizations must bridge the gap to support the remaining families that are ineligible for federal nutritional programs.
Idaho’s uninsured rate was 17.4 percent in 2009, before the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The most recent data available from 2016 shows that this rate fell to 10.1 percent. This 42% decrease is a good sign, but many Idahoans still do not have any form of health coverage. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) help people with disabilities, children in families struggling to pay the bills, and some parents facing extreme financial hardship in Idaho. Nearly 18 percent of Idahoans and 1 in 3 Idaho children rely on Medicaid and CHIP to meet their health coverage needs.