Poverty

Economy
4:07 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Share Of Idahoans Receiving Welfare Declines, Rate Still Higher Than Most

Screengrab from Census report.
Credit census.gov

Idaho is one of only six states that saw a decrease in the number of people on public assistance, or welfare, in 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Poverty
9:52 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Census: Idaho’s Poverty Concentration Has Tripled Since 2000

Even though Idaho's poverty concentration saw one of the biggest percent increases between 2000 and 2010, 30 states and the District of Columbia had higher overall concentrations than Idaho in 2010.
Credit U.S. Census Bureau

More than 15 percent of Idahoans live in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a little higher than the nation as a whole. Now, a new census report shows that Idaho’s poor are becoming increasingly concentrated.

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Medicaid
2:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

2 Years After Unanimously Recommending Medicaid Expansion, Idaho Governor's Group Reconvenes

An Idaho workgroup reconvened Wednesday to reevaluate options on how to offer medical services to low-income adults who don't have health insurance.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has repeatedly said he does not want to expand the state's current Medicaid program but has appointed a 15-member group to consider other possibilities.

The panel first met in 2012 and recommended expanding the state's Medicaid eligibility requirements.

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Audit
2:01 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

State Auditors: Idaho Misspent $2.5 Million In Welfare Funds

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

State auditors say the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare misspent $2.5 million in federal funding on salaries instead of using it for food stamps and other assistance for Idaho's poorest residents.

The finding by the Office of Performance Evaluation was part of the state's annual audit of how federal cash is used.

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Food Stamps
6:47 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks

File photo of a woman using her EBT card in Portland, Ore., to purchase food.
Brian Duss Bread for the World

In Olympia, Washington policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.

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Poverty
11:03 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Elementary School Pilot Program Helps Family Escape Homelessness

Fifth grader Simya Gantt is doing better in school thanks to a unique program in Tacoma, Wash.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 5:17 pm

Across the country more than one million kids may not know where they’re going to sleep tonight.

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Homelessness
11:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Counting Homeless People In Idaho Is An Inexact Science

Many homeless people we spoke with did not want their picture taken but David Powell outside Corpus Christi House didn't mind.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Volunteers are combing Idaho's streets for the next few days asking homeless people where they spent Wednesday night. This annual count is the only source for much of what we know about Idaho's homeless population. Those numbers, which we won’t know for months, help determine how much federal money will come to homeless programs in Idaho.

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Charity
5:08 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Christmas Album Brings Hope And 23,000 Meals To The Idaho Foodbank

Credit Emily Carlin / Flickr Creative Commons

Local musicians and their lyrical Christmas creations brought more than good cheer to Idaho last year.
In December, we told you about a special musical collection aimed at raising money for The Idaho Foodbank. Now, we know  just how much the album raised.

The fourth IdaHo Ho Ho Christmas CD raised enough cash to pay for 23,465 meals for those in need.

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Homelessness
11:50 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Idaho Lands On Top 10 List For Increase In Homeless Students

More than 6,000 Idaho students were homeless during the 2011/2012 school year. That's .5 percent of all public school kids.
Credit BionicTeaching / Flickr Creative Commons

Student homelessness in Idaho has grown by 27 percent, putting the state in a list of 10 that have seen the largest increase in the number of kids without stable, reliable homes. That data from the U.S. Department of Education measured growth from the 2010/2011 school year to 2011/2012.

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Poverty
5:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Homeless Numbers Drop In Idaho, So Does Money To Help Them

Credit Mistermuckle / Flickr Creative Commons

You might look at Thursday's announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as good news and bad news for Idaho. First the good news. Between 2010 and 2013 Idaho saw a 24 percent drop in homelessness. That’s more than 560 fewer people living on Idaho’s streets. Nationally, homelessness decreased by 6 percent.

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Policy
11:44 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Idaho Business Group Urges State To Consider Private Insurance Through Medicaid

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho business group urged Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to study how Arkansas won permission from Washington, D.C., to use federal Medicaid funding to help poor people buy private insurance.

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry sent Otter a letter Friday, calling Arkansas' program a "market solution" that was of great interest to members that include hospitals St. Luke's Health System and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

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Economy
5:48 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Federal Food Stamp Cuts Take Effect

File photo of a woman using her EBT card in Portland, Ore. to purchase food.
Brian Duss Bread for the World

Northwest residents who rely on food stamps will have to pinch their pennies even more. Starting Friday, federal food assistance benefits are being cut.

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Health
10:25 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Poor Idaho School Brings Health Care To Students

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A southwestern Idaho school district is building an in-school medical clinic at Meridian's poorest elementary school in an effort to boost student health and reduce absenteeism.

Meridian School District Superintendent Linda Clark told the Idaho Statesman that the clinic will be the first in-school clinic in Idaho.

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Food Stamps
3:33 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Why Idahoans Can Expect A 5 Percent Decrease In Food Stamp Benefits Next Month

Credit beancounter / Flickr

A temporary increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, expires at the end of October. That means 47 million Americans, including 221,717  people in Idaho, will see less money each month for food.

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Insurance
2:43 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Map: Rural Idaho Counties Have Largest Share Of Uninsured People

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The number of uninsured Idahoans has dropped to its lowest level since 2007. Data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 18.9 percent of Idahoans under the age of 65 didn't have health insurance in 2011. That marks a decline in the share of uninsured Idahoans since 2010 when the rate was 20.3 percent.

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Education
9:19 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Idaho's Lowest Performing Schools Have Among The Highest Rates Of Poverty

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Education released its school rankings last week for the 2012-2013 school year. Before the updated list came out, we told you there was a strong connection between poverty and low achieving schools based on the 2011-2012 rankings.

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Education
8:35 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Why Poverty Matters In Idaho School Rankings

Adams Elementary is on Boise's historic Warm Springs Avenue. It was ranked as a 5 star school last year.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Department of Education releases its list today of school rankings for the 2012-2013 school year. It’s based on a five star system the state began last year.

Five star schools are considered high performing. Those at the bottom have to follow an improvement plan under state scrutiny. In last year’s rating list there was something most one star schools had in common: poverty. Take Boise’s Hawthorne Elementary where Beverly Boyd is principal.

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WIC
1:28 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Cost Of Living Increases Mean More Idahoans Could Qualify For Food Assistance

Credit Katerha / Flickr Creative Commons

A change in income guidelines means more Idahoans could qualify for food assistance through the WIC program.

The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children, or WIC provides certain foods to pregnant or breastfeeding moms and families with children under age five. Starting July 1, a cost-of-living adjustment goes into effect.

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Food Stamps
7:00 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Mapping Food Insecurity And Food Stamp Use In Idaho

In January, 231,647 people in Idaho were on food stamps.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps low-income families.  But in Idaho, 17 percent of people are food insecure.  The hunger relief charity Feeding America says they don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. 

Click on a county to find out how many people are on food stamps, and how many are food insecure.

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Food Assistance
3:25 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

More Idahoans Will Be Eligible For Food Assistance July 1

There are currently about 44,000 Idahoans enrolled in WIC.
Flickr Creative Commons Capt' Gorgeous

Starting July 1, more low-income parents with young children will be eligible for food assistance.

The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children, or WIC provides certain foods to pregnant or breastfeeding moms and families with children under age five.

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