Food Insecurity Impacts Soup-er Bowl.

Every year, Idaho Falls School District 91 elementary, junior high, and high school students are encouraged to collect canned food products. Two of our major rivalry high schools in the community,  Skyline and Idaho Falls High School, annually are motivated to gather the most cans from their community food drives, residents, local businesses, and other sponsors that are willing to support their school and show school spirit as well as their compassion for those in need. However, the majority of students do not realize that food insecurity is a prominent issue in our schools in the United States and impacts their peers’ education as well as the atmosphere around their school.

    Food insecurity is defined as being without reliable or nutritious food. According to recent numbers from No Kid Hungry, more than 11 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity. In 2018, the federal poverty level was measured to be $25,750 for a family of four. That’s a middle-class family now in 2020. There are also programs in the United States set in place for these families in need by non-profit organizations and local government support such as your standard breakfast and lunch school meals, as well as after school meals and summer meal programs! Here at Skyline, our goal for this year is an outstanding 75,000 cans, and it seems like students are getting involved. However, with the Soup-er Bowl coming up, students with food insecurity, who may be in difficult situations, will shy away from learning or participating in the competition. 

    I did some research to figure out the dilemma here at Skyline. I interviewed school administrators to find out how prominent food insecurity is, how many students really engage in the Soup-er Bowl, and what can we do to help. Jodi Fohs, our counseling secretary, reminded me that there’s a school\community pantry in the counseling office. “We have frozen food, chicken, turkey.  We also have lots of prepackaged foods, canned foods, cheese, mashed potatoes, and other foods. You can always reach out to the counseling department and set up an appointment to visit the pantry. It’s also a pantry for our whole community. So anyone from our community can come if they want to,” Fohs said. “It’s definitely up to the student to come and let us know if they’re having a problem with not having enough food at home. Because we can definitely partner up with food banks and our pantry,” Fohs added.

Since 2016, the poverty level has increased and corporate companies, as well as banks, have left the middle-class behind. We’re all we got in our community. Staff at Skyline are welcoming students with any needs in our community with open arms. As well as students who are willing to donate their time and help out their fellow peers. However, this shows that there are prominent and severe problems that stem below the surface. I believe our community should come together. Starting with our school.