May 2018 Newsletter

Community voices can only drive change if someone is listening. We’ve made a special point to pause and listen this year and what we’ve heard has shaped our world.

We are listening closely and sharing resources so participants can build the community they envision. Not only have folks who access food helped shape our message, advocacy work, and programs, but have begun to lead programs of their own.

Two beautiful examples launched at The Hunger Coalition recently. Teofila Mendoza dreamed of starting a supportive, inclusive women’s group to give local women a space to share, heal, and grow. Teo found this space in Bloom Community Farm and has already led the group in a series of unforgettable or inovidable meetings. 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen during our weekly food distributions, participants are taking turns cooking meals to help bridge the community table. And they’ve had to dish up extra helpings because last month we hit another record high – filling 760 grocery carts with healthy food in the month of April. 

While this means the cost to feed our community continues to rise, 66 donors rallied in support of good food for all on Idaho Gives, helping us more than double our goal for the day!

Thank you to everyone who gave. This support is essential as we continue to grow and adapt the solution to hunger for a healthier Blaine County.

Read the full May Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director
*preceding photos by Sun Valley Magazine and Jay Graham


IDAHO GAVE

photo courtesy of Shanti LaRue

We are thrilled and humbled to report that you raised a historic $24,100 to advance food justice in Blaine County – which is over double our original goal!

Big thanks to the good food philanthropists who gave to ensure all matching funds were met and everyone in Blaine County has access to good food: The Nalen Family Foundation, Christine Ferguson, Penelope Coe, Laurie Roark, Kristin McMahon, Susan & Arnold Blair, Dede Huish, Elizabeth Brennan, James Feldbaum, Sonia Sommer, Mary Moore, Meghan Faherty, Valdi Pace, Hannah Young, Mary Hall, Denise De Lisser, Dave Keir & Gadrie Edmunds, Nicole St. Germain, Karen Nestor, Julie, Brookie, & Sarah Olsen, Ken & Jill Murray, Jane Dettwiler, Bekka Mongeau, Alan Oliver, Pat Rawlinson, Priscilla Pittiglio, Kathryn Goldman, Gayle Arrowwood, Krista Felton, McNair & Will Bailey, Trudy Dane, Jan Peppler, Mariela Orihuela, Noel Jensen, Susan McIlroy, Joseph & Anna Rodriguez, Julie Molema, Jim Perkins, Beverley Robertson, Gus O’Neill, Pam & Chris Gammon, Tom Iselin, Five Loaves, Susan Robinson, Julie Meineke​, Jon Paris Nicholson​, Debra Masner, Jeremy Fryberger, Joanne Mayhew, Robert Brock & Nina Steffens, Joel & Amy Brazil, Courtney Jelaco, Angenie McCleary, Michele Johnson, Ryan Georgas, Brooke Bonner & Kyle Baysinger, Heidi Schiers, Jeanne Liston, Shannon Allen, Bob and Joanne Ely, and several anonymous donors.

Thank you to everyone who gave and joined the Good Food Community on Idaho Gives. Forward ho!

April Newsletter 2018

There’s something special about Hunger Coalition volunteers. 

While they may span generations, hometowns, life experiences, and sides of the tracks, everyone shows up for the same reason: to make our community a better place for all people.

Our team of volunteers is the perfect example of what happens when what unites us outshines what divides us. The warmth that radiates between volunteers and participants as they discuss recipes, favorite meals, their children, grandchildren, the antics of their pets, or the current snow pack is contagious. In these moments, our community is at its best. There is no us and them, just we. 

For volunteer appreciation week, we’re celebrating the humble, hardworking, talented, and enthusiastic team of volunteers who keep The Hunger Coalition moving forward. By the numbers, 423 volunteers invest $230,000 in staff time per year. We are teeming with gratitude as we honor their impact.

Thank you to our volunteers and everyone in the Good Food Community who continue to advance the food justice movement with action and compassion. 

Read the full April Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director
*preceding photos by Sun Valley Magazine and Jay Graham


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

April 15-21 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week, so be sure to thank the community volunteers in your life! As The Hunger Coalition celebrates its 15th year, there are some particularly special volunteers to honor. Sixteen local people have been a part of our volunteer family since the start, or very near the start, and continue to dedicate their time, talents, and hearts to ensure that our community thrives.

Join us in thanking and recognizing our 2018 Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Susie Alban and Brooke Bonner have been here for fifteen years!
  • Mary Ellen Card, Todd Cavette, Lee Dabney, Tyler Davis Jeffers, L’Anne Gilman, Florence Harvey, Diane Kahm, Gerry Kearns, Sam & Nancy Kennette, Mary Malkmus, Sue Petersen, Pat Rawlinson and Eleanor Ward have all volunteered between 10-14 years!

That’s a collective 200+ years of service!

Rachel Shinn, volunteer and program manager at The Hunger Coalition said, “When I started working at The Hunger Coalition in 2013, I found a sense of community that I hadn’t found anywhere before. I think a lot of people come to help out and stay to be a part of a remarkable family that is so many things: a friend, a garden, a laugh, a meal, an idea, a think tank, a group of hundreds of people who all want to see our community thrive.”

A million times thanks to our incredible volunteers and happy, happy Volunteer Appreciation Week!


FROM THE FIELD

Here comes summer! April signals the start of so many exciting opportunities at Bloom Community Farm and The Hope Garden. Volunteer for Veggies, Bloom Youth Project, and a new Women’s Group led by local, Teofila Mendoza, are all kicking off this month.

Enjoy some quick inspiration for what’s to come in this homage to Bloom Community Farm narrated by 2017 Bloom Youth Project intern, Matt. After last season, Matt’s feeling pretty good. He reported, “I’m doing good. Still very tired, still working hard, though I have to say I don’t eat as well as I used to when working at Bloom. My grades are fair, and I’ve been working on a healthier mind and my body. It’s working like a dream, and not only am I feeling better, but I’m less depressed, healthier and looking better. I miss y’all back at The Hunger Coalition, but I’m happy to have moved into a better phase of my life and am going to continue moving down my path to bettering myself.”

March 2018 Newsletter

At times, even superheros need help. Whether it’s a trusty partner or a little magic, heroes rarely go it alone.

There are countless heroes in our community who are faced with unthinkable obstacles.

Medical crisis, death in the family, an absentee parent, or a compromising relationship are just a few everyday obstacles that challenge everyday heroes.

This time of year, challenges are magnified by the high cost of winter. The lack of snow this winter has spelled under-employment for so many of our neighbors. 

Such challenges require superhuman courage to overcome, but courage alone is a single flame. Whether you’re faced with challenges of heroic proportions or hoping to be there for someone who is, it takes a community to feed the flame and light the way.

The good food community grew around the idea that we are stronger, happier, and healthier together. Through food shared, we can harness the nourishment and strength required to endure our challenges.

We’re excited to share how we plan to measure the power of this community through our 2018 annual goals, and hope you will join us in whatever way best suits your story. 

Read the full March 2018 Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director
*preceding photos by Sun Valley Magazine and Jay Graham


2018 GOALS

Big goals are our North Star. Goals help turn our wildest dreams into action to ensure we have a lasting impact on our community. 

Building on the momentum from last year, we are poised to help more people than ever through the many layers of the good food community.

We’re excited to share our 2018 goals with you so we can continue on this path togetherhelping local families and improving our community.

1. Provide Food Access to 17% of Blaine County population or 3,500 people. 

2. Engage community members in providing 10,000 Volunteer Hours, keeping our organization efficient and saving close to $240,000 in staff time.

3. Work with partners and schools to provide 25 safe, stigma-free access points of healthy food through our Children’s Food Programs.

4. Provide healthy summer meals served to a total of 275 children through our expanded Summer Food Program (Bloom Truck, Lunch in the Park, & Summer Camps).

5. Ensure 100% of mothers who reach out to us have access to vital nutrition for their infants during the first year of their lives through our Infant Formula Program.

6. Build community through food by engaging at least 200 community members at Bloom Community Farm and The Hope Garden for Volunteer for Veggies

Read the complete list of 2018 goals here.

February 2018 Newsletter

In fifteen years, we’ve shared over one million pounds of food with nearly 15,000 people, which are numbers we tend to celebrate. In fact, we recently set a record – but not one worth rejoicing. At the end of January, an all-time record 175 families accessed food from our food pantry in one week. 

It’s pretty common to treat feeding high volumes of local people as an accomplishment. And in a way, it is. The kindness and generosity of our community has ensured everyone who has ever reached out for food was able to fill a grocery cart. Still I believe, with the transformative kindness of our community, we can do even better.

Over the last year, we’ve been asking some uncomfortable questions: Are there ways we’re feeding the problem? Can we do better than the traditional food assistance model? Is there shame written into our message? One thing has been increasingly clear – words matter and we need to be thoughtful in how we use them.

Without question, referring to strong, resilient people as ‘needy’ is demoralizing.  

If your hours are cut, or your car is shot, or maybe childcare, gas, healthcare, utilities, and food are expenses too great to bare – would you look to a group that fights hunger for those in need or one where you can partner to build community through food in a community where your voice is heard and your voice carries? 

As we gain traction in the food justice movement, we are committed to using our words to empower people, to inspire people, and to make radical change. The kindness and generosity of the community is more important than ever as we continue moving toward a just, local food system.

We’re confident the difference will look different and inevitably more beautiful if, instead of feeding the needy, we advocate for food justice side by side with our diverse voices in harmony. 

Read the full February 2018 Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director
*preceding photos by Sun Valley Magazine and Jay Graham


TANIA’S STORY

It’s hard to believe we’re already out recruiting interns for the upcoming season of Bloom Youth Project. As we gear up for another transformational year, we celebrate the story of 2017 grad, Tania, who will be influential to the next season of youth. 

Click here to watch Tania’s one minute story and share the inspiration widely with friends and family. 


THE POWER OF WORDS

Image Source

The conventional language around hunger often paints the picture of helpless people seeking an easy answer, which is painfully misleading. We’ve found this language could very well be perpetuating shame and preventing people from accessing food.

In pursuit of words that nourish and empower, that feed the future of food security, and forever transform our relationship to hunger, we’ve discovered some pretty energizing terms that we’d love to share.

Read more about food justice, access, and equity here. These powerful words will guide our work moving forward and help change the conversation around food security in Blaine County. 

January 2018 Newsletter

Not only am I looking back  on the last year, I’m looking back on the last fifteen. This year marks our fifteenth anniversary as an organization and my, how we’ve grown.  

In fifteen years, you’ve helped us grow from a band-aid, scraping together a few food boxes each month, to a sophisticated movement toward food justice.

Whether it’s in the people we serve, the quality of our programs, or all that springs from The Hope Garden and Bloom Community Farm, our story is defined by growth. Each year, you’ve fed this growth. In fact, in the last quarter of 2017, your generosity helped to accelerate this growth.

The momentum of the last fifteen years made possible a record 2017 where we didn’t simply feed a lot of people, we built community through food. Thinking about how we’ve gotten to this point makes looking ahead that much sweeter. Everything you’ve helped us accomplish to date makes us uniquely positioned to push the envelope this year.

We hope you will join us to kick off the year in support of community with one of the most beloved local events: Empty Bowls.

Your commitment over the years has helped turn the page to such an exciting chapter of our story. Thank you. We look forward to the adventure ahead.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director

Read the full January 2018 Newsletter Here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.


A LOOK BACK AT 2017

photo courtesy of Jay Graham 

2017 was an exceptionally full year. Bags of fresh harvest were filled at the farm while grocery carts were piled high with a colorful array of every food group. From bags and carts to pots and pans to plates and bowls, community tables were full of wholesome food from The Hunger Coalition. Every plant, every veggie, every meal, and every person who accessed our services was supported by community generosity last year.

Just look at the remarkable numbers recorded in 2017 and imagine what more is possible in the coming year.

Thank you to everyone who supported this record year!

December 2017 Newsletter

It’s always an honor to tell you about the impact you’re making. And after a year like this, there’s a lot to tell. But I’m even more excited to show you a beautiful example of the radical growth our community made possible this year. 

Bloom Youth Project forever changed the lives of local teens who forever changed the lives of their neighbors.

Their stories haven’t always been easy, but their resilience is profound. Please watch the accomplishments of Bloom Youth Graduates: Ciera, Savannah, Tania, Diego, Maryanna, Matt, Peter, and Blade.

In this season that sparkles and shines with gratitude and good cheer, I’m especially grateful for the traction of an equitable food movement in Blaine County.

We still have a long way to go to redefine food security in our community, but this year laid the groundwork for something extraordinary. 

Your gifts power the movement and ensure everyone in Blaine County has a seat at the table. Please consider giving the gift of good food this holiday season.

Wishing you and yours a very merry holiday.

Read the full December 2017 newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director
*photo courtesy of Sun Valley Magazine


BLOOM YOUTH (VIDEO) PROJECT

Bloom Youth Project interns grew by leaps and bounds over the course of the seven month internship. They tell their stories here in a moving feature by Dark2Light Productions and starring interns Ciera, Savannah, Tania, Diego, Maryanna, Matt, Peter, and Blade and their dynamic leader, Megan Schooley. 

If you’re adverse to strong feelings of joy and hope for the future, proceed with caution.

Bloom Youth Project is a paid internship for local teens with promise that empowers interns to manage food production at Bloom Community Farm and share what they harvest with their neighbors.


$5,955 LEFT ON THE WAY TO $40,000!

The gift of good food for a local family provides more warmth than a new scarf, more quality time than a new watch, and more cheer than a glass of egg nog. Give the gift of good food on behalf of a loved one this season to share joy and good will throughout our community. 

Donate online here or call 208-788-0121 to give the gift of good food and ensure everyone in Blaine County has a seat at the table. We will send a holiday card to the person you’re giving the gift in honor of to announce your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Through December 31, any gift you make is matched dollar for dollar up to $20,000 to double your impact and feed twice as many families this season. 

November 2017 Newsletter

In a small community, we are uniquely connected to each other. The trouble with being closely connected is you may know someone who is facing unthinkable obstacles.

Roughly 1 in 3 Blaine County locals have a hard time putting good food on the table. These are people you see every day who serve you coffee, cut your hair, teach your kids, even keep you safe from fires who quietly struggle to feed their families.

With your help, this can change. The beauty of a small town is that your gift of good food can transform the lives of those who touch your own life every day. 

Our new 2017 Donor Impact Report illustrates the profound impact your gifts have on local people and the future of food security in Blaine County.

This time of year, there is so much to be thankful for and so many opportunities to give back. If you haven’t already, we hope you will consider the gift of good food. Right now you can double your donation through our year-end appeal and support programs that will forever transform the landscape of food security in Blaine County.

Thank you for your generosity and enjoy the holiday season!

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director

Read the full November 2017 newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.


THE HUNGER COALITION YEAR END APPEAL

Give to make our community ties stronger and ensure everyone in Blaine County has a seat at the table.

Generous donors have offered to match any gift up to $20,000 to double your impact and feed twice as many people this season.


AN ALL NEW DONOR IMPACT REPORT

Click here to read up on the many ways your support of The Hunger Coalition is helping positively impact the lives of our neighbors

October 2017 Newsletter

There’s an uncomfortable fact of life in our community: slack season is hurting our working class. After a summer of empowering food support programs and shared abundance, the harsh reality of slack season has surfaced in our food bank lines.

From the beginning of September to the end, we saw a 48% increase in people needing food. These are local construction workers, landscapers, child care workers, and hospitality professionals – people you rely on who also need your support this season. As we enter a challenging time of year for our neighbors, the generosity and hope of those committed to the cause help keep us moving forward.

There are several opportunities to help. Your gifts are invested in food and support programs to provide immediate relief for struggling families. Volunteers walk people through our food bank lines, distribute holiday meals, rescue food from local grocers, and bring meals and snacks to hungry children. Local groups and organizations facilitate food drives to help fill our shelves. You too can advance this humbling community effort to ensure no one in Blaine County goes hungry.

Thank you to everyone who continues to help support this critical mission. 

Read the full October 2017 Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director


FROM THE FIELD


photo by Judy Cahill

As the days cool down, we reflect on an amazing growing season. This season, our community harvested over 7,500 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies (and counting!) from Bloom Community Farm and The Hope Garden. To think, this time last year, we were excited to report a respectable 1,300 pounds of harvest.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this remarkable growth possible. To the many volunteers, including 224 Volunteer for Veggies participants, partners, donors, and staff who joined together around good food and, as a result, strengthened our community. 

BLOOM YOUTH PROJECT

It seems like only yesterday Bloom Youth Project interns first set foot on Bloom Community Farm, a little green, not knowing exactly what to expect. Six months later, they’ve far exceeded our expectations.

Megan Schooley, Bloom Youth program director said, “The interns have really impressed us. There’s so much to be proud of. They’ve all come forward with a real skill set, compassion, leadership and professionalism.”

As their internship winds to a close, Bloom Youth have been drafting future dreams and considering their next direction. When asked what he would want to learn from a future career, potentially in teaching, Matt said, “Anything and everything! I love learning and am constantly pushing myself to experience and educate – because even teaching is a learning experience.”

photos by Judy Cahill & Charlotta Harris

September 2017 Newsletter

While many hands make light work, many hearts make the difference. It takes a lot of heart to redefine food security in Blaine County, but fortunately, this community’s no slouch.

That’s why tomorrow, with wonder and awe, we honor the many people who address the challenges of hunger in Blaine County at our Farm Appreciation Party. 

Your support has made a tremendous difference this year in the lives of our neighbors. 

We invite you, the strong-hearted, community-minded, stop-at-nothing-to-do-the-right-thing people of Blaine County to celebrate your accomplishments. The party is tomorrow evening, Wednesday, September 13 at Bloom Community Farm.

Come on down and enjoy the music of Andrew Sheppard, light, harvest-fresh fare, drinks, and farm tours led by Bloom Youth Project interns, whose personal growth is soaring alongside the green rows of the farm.

Special thanks to D.L. Evans Bank for making the evening possible. Hope to see you there!

Read the full September 2017 newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,
Jeanne Liston, executive director


FARM APPRECIATION PARTY

When: 
Wednesday, September 13 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Where:
Bloom Community Farm
South end of Quigley Farm, Hailey entry/access via Fox Acres Road, just past high school football field

Made possible by D.L. Evans Bank

Please email or call with questions to info@thehungercoalition.org or 208-788-0121


FROM THE FIELD

photo by Karen Bossick 

The high yielding, feel good acre of Bloom Community Farm has been making headlines lately – particularly, our Volunteer for Veggies program.

In case you missed them, here are three great articles by our friends at Idaho Mountain Express, Eye on Sun Valley, and The Weekly Sun.

A farm is in full ‘Bloom’ near Hailey – by Mark Dee, Idaho Mountain Express

There’s more blooming at Bloom Community Farm than meets the eye – Karen Bossick, Eye on Sun Valley

Volunteer for Veggies (page 6) by Dana DuGan, The Weekly Sun

Volunteer for Veggies participants are partly to thank for this season’s healthy harvest, totaling over 4,300 lbs between Bloom Community Farm and The Hope Garden. Thanks to everyone who’s made these impressive yields possible!

Please note, there are new Volunteer for Veggies hours for September and October – Click here for current volunteer hours

August 2017 Newsletter

jeanne_liston_fall3_2016Change looks different from person to person. We all share the capacity to hurt, hope, and heal, but in very different ways, influenced by our vastly different experiences.  

Your support of The Hunger Coalition has influenced change in countless ways. Here are five powerful examples of how your generosity is positively impacting lives this summer.

1. Bloom Youth Project intern, Savannah, has gone from the self-proclaimed worst kid in the world, to a confident, ambitious teen, working toward a bright future as a preschool teacher

2. Volunteer for Veggies participant, Cindy, used to rely on canned corn and potatoes as the few vegetables she could afford to feed her family. Now their dinner plates are filled with a bright palate of produce she harvested from Bloom Community Farm.

3. Gabriel was a standoffish eight year old who didn’t trust new adults. In time, he warmed up to the staff at Bloom Truck, and now enjoys healthy lunches and reading each week.   

4. Without transportation of his own, local senior, Richard, struggled to get to the grocery store, much less afford produce when there. The Bloom Youth run Mobile Market brings deeply discounted veggies right to his neighborhood so he can regularly enjoy his favorites: radishes and Chinese cabbage.

5. Bloom Youth Project Intern, Maryanna feels stronger and healthier since she started her internship. She now shares what she’s learned about gardening, cooking, and budgeting with her family so they can grow together.

Thank you for all you do to support people in our community like Savannah, Cindy, Gabriel, Richard, and Maryanna. Please join us to celebrate all you’ve helped accomplish at our farm appreciation party Wednesday, September 13!  

Read the full July 2017 Newsletter here. Or, better yet, have it sent automatically to your in-box every month.

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director


FARM APPRECIATION PARTY

Community support made a colossal difference this year for Bloom and The Hunger Coalition. Join us to celebrate our collective accomplishments and honor the progress of Bloom Youth Project Interns, whose personal growth is soaring alongside the green rows of Bloom Community Farm. Everyone’s invited! Enjoy harvest-fresh bites! Drinks! Farm tours! Music!

When:
Wednesday, September 13 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Where:
Bloom Community Farm
South end of Quigley Farm, Hailey entry/access via Fox Acres Road, just past high school football field

Please RSVP by Tuesday, September 5 to info@thehungercoalition.org or 208-788-0121. Hope to see you there!


FROM THE FIELD


photo by Charlotta Harris

We’ve harvested a ton of food this summer – literally over 2,000 lbs, or one ton, of fresh fruits and veggies have filled the shelves of our food bank, been sold at deeply discounted rates to vulnerable neighbors through our mobile market, enhanced kids’ summer meals, and gone home with Volunteer for Veggies participants. Between our staff farm team, Bloom Youth, community partners, and over 125 local volunteers, this mammoth harvest has truly been a community effort. Thanks to everyone who’s had a hand in growing this summer!