Sojourners' Alliance Director discusses hunger on the Palouse an invisible reality

MOSCOW, ID - According to the latest study of poverty on the Palouse, 29% of Moscow residents are living in poverty.

Sojourners' Alliance Director Steve Bonnar discussed food insecurity with Moscow's 'Women's Giving Circle' Thursday morning. He explained that it's difficult to spread awareness about poverty on the Palouse because it's largely invisible.

"One of the big issues are here, unfortunately, is that there's not decent paying jobs," said Bonnar. "So anybody working at a minimum wage job around here is living in poverty."

Bonnar said the cost of living is increasing, food stamp funding is decreasing, and food banks are in desperate need for donations. He said many people living in poverty also struggle with obesity because the food they can afford is low in nutrients, but high in unhealthy fats and sugars.

So when it comes to donating, protein-rich foods like canned meats and peanut butter are the most valuable, as is toilet paper because it's an expensive necessity that buy through programs like USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.