More than 220,000 adults and children in Idaho - live with hunger.
Back in 2010, the Idaho beef community learned that The Idaho Foodbank was in need of high quality protein products to distribute to families in need – and recent events have only heightened that need.
Prior to COVID-19, one in eight Idahoans – or more than 220,000 adults and children -- lived with hunger. Since COVID-19, the number of local families facing hunger has increased, creating an unprecedented need for nutritious food.
Protein is an important part of that need, and it is not surprising that lists for the items most commonly requested by food pantries usually include sources of lean protein.
The Idaho beef community formed the Beef Counts program in 2010 after hearing that The Idaho Foodbank had a deficit of lean protein for distribution. As the state’s second largest agricultural industry, members of the beef community know firsthand about the value of beef in the diet.
A 3 oz. serving of beef is packed with 10 important nutrients that help meet most people’s daily needs. To get all of these nutrients from other sources one would need to eat far more food, costing more in terms of money spent and calories consumed.
USDA guidelines recommend consuming an average of 5.5 ounces of protein per day per person. This means an average family of four would need 41.25 pounds of protein monthly.
One 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides about 25 grams of protein or nearly half the protein most people need each day. In addition, the protein in lean beef is a complete, high-quality protein, which means it supplies all of the essential amino acids the body needs to build, maintain and repair body tissue.
Besides protein, beef is a source of other essential nutrients that support a heath-healthy lifestyle. Research shows that the high quality protein and nutrients in beef provide everyone – not just the food-insecure – with the fuel and strength to thrive throughout all stages of life, from infancy to adulthood.