May 2017 Newsletter

jeanne_liston_fall3_2016The spring thaw signals wildflowers and big rivers. While May often stirs anticipation for summer adventures, it’s still one of the most challenging months for our neighbors in need. In painful contrast to the new growth of the season, May is one of seasonal unemployment and less funding for our food programs. 

You can imagine, it’s impossible to enjoy the best of May when you’re struggling to pay rent, fuel your car, and eat a decent meal. Fortunately, you have two exciting opportunities to make a difference this month. Idaho Gives is coming around the bend to help offset the grim cost of slack. Join us tomorrow, May 4 to support those struggling through the season by making a gift during Idaho Gives. To sweeten the pot, the very generous Nalen Foundation has put up a matching gift of $5,000 to double your impact that day! You can also join us for a scratch-made brunch at The Haven on May 25th to learn more about our work and raise funds to feed those in need.

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

With your generosity, we will help local families make it through this bleak time and ring in summer, a time of abundance and exciting new programs from The Hunger Coalition. 

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director


IDAHO GIVES

Idaho Gives is a statewide day of giving. It’s an opportunity to unite our community around causes in which we truly believe and help nonprofit organizations connect to the larger community.

Last week was our biggest week of 2017. The Hunger Coalition fed more families than in any week this year. You can help us ensure we don’t have to turn any child or family away.

With a matching gift of up to $5,000 from the Nalen Foundation, your gifts during Idaho Gives will go twice as far and feed twice as many! 

You can help make our campaign a success! Here are some easy ways:

Share and share alike. Online days of giving are successful because of our own networks. Help us grow our network by sending this email to your network and ask your friends to do the same.

Be socially (media) active. Use your social media networks: post on Facebook, tweet about Idaho Gives, and share your love for your particular passion. Ask others to do the same.

Thank you in advance for your support!


FROM THE FIELD 

The Bloom Youth Project interns are immersed in growth. This transformative internship empowers paid interns to manage food production at Bloom Community Farm and build a business plan for our Bloom Mobile Market, selling discounted, fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods. These teens with promise will feed the hungry while learning critical job and life skills that may help keep them out of our food bank lines as adults.

Already, the interns have weeded, laid irrigation at the farm, and participated in several life-skills workshops. This dynamic, hardworking group is ready to make a big difference this year. 

Heartfelt thanks to the Wood River Women’s Foundation for generously investing in the futures of these teens with a gift of $25,000. Stay tuned to learn what and how the Bloom Youth grow!

April Newsletter

jeanne_liston_fall3_2016There’s some truth to time is money. Collectively, our mighty team of volunteers invest nearly $200,000 worth of their time per year. But volunteers provide something more powerful than savings. The amount of heart our volunteers invest in The Hunger Coalition is immeasurable. 

You can’t calculate how many of our neighbors’ worst days have been eased by the kindness of a volunteer. There’s no way to quantify the taste of a good meal after days on an empty stomach shared by someone who cares. A formula won’t tell you the value of a smile, a laugh, or an open heart, but we can. We’ve seen firsthand the remarkable impact volunteers have on those struggling in our community. 

These moments are what make volunteers some of the most admirable, selfless, extraordinary people in Blaine County. We are grateful every day of the year, but for Volunteer Appreciation Month, we want to take a special moment to share our gratitude with you.

In the midst of hunger season, a time when donations subside along with employment, we are especially grateful for the commitment of our volunteers who help better the lives of our neighbors in need.

Thank you to everyone who has served and continues to serve at The Hunger Coalition to make our community a better place for all people.

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

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director


VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: KATIE ROUSEY

The Hunger Coalition wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of volunteer, Katie Rousey (pictured right). Katie has been volunteering for over five years, and has helped make our food distribution a warm and welcoming place. She cultivates invaluable relationships with our neighbors in need and is simply a delight to be around.

Katie writes, “Volunteering is the highlight of my week. It’s a very good feeling to be helping with such an endeavor, and I’m proud to be a part of the team!”

The feeling is mutual. Rachel Shinn, volunteer manager for The Hunger Coalition, said, “In the five years Katie’s been volunteering, she’s certainly become a part of the family. Each week, she shows up to help distribute food to families and individuals in our community.  Our clients have come to rely on her reassuring smile, dynamic sense of humor, and a friendly conversation about produce, pets, kids or just life in general. She’s such an important member of the community and we’re so grateful she shares her time with The Hunger Coalition!

Thank you, Katie! We are truly grateful to have you on the team.


FROM THE FIELD 

What makes The Hope Garden and Bloom Community Farm grow? Our productive annual harvest is largely thanks to the toil and talent of our volunteers, including the wonderful, Barbara Kuhn. Barbara started as a volunteer, bringing Daily Bites to local students. As an avid gardener, she eventually found a fit at Bloom Community Farm.

At the Farm, Barbara helped maintain perennial plantings, which are important for feeding bees and keeping plants pollinated. Not to mention, she weeded a ton and helped mulch a row of carrots, which is no easy feat. Lynea Petty, food production manager said, “I appreciated Barbara’s hard work and her passion for getting stuff done for our community!”

Thank you, Barbara for your commitment to giving back and growing food security for our neighbors.

March 2017 Newsletter

jeanne_liston_fall3_2016Big challenges can be overcome by small acts of kindness

Whether it’s the low to no wages of slack, the high cost of winter, or an unexpected crisis, hunger is a challenge twelve months a year.

One of the most powerful and efficient ways you can help local families in urgent need is with a monthly gift. Take it from non-profit strategy consultant, Zana Davey, monthly giving programs are convenient and rewarding. Your small, enduring acts of kindness can move mountains.

To up the ante, local supporters Michael & Esther Ochsman will make your gift even more powerful with a match of up to $5,000 for anyone joining or increasing their monthly support through our Open Hands ClubNow you can give twice as much, every month!

Little by little, month by month, every drop in the bucket will eventually fill the well. We hope you will consider joining our monthly giving club to help local families, every month, every season of the year.

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

With Gratitude,

Jeanne Liston, executive director


DONOR SPOTLIGHT: ZANA DAVEY

Introducing, Zana Davey, non-profit strategy consultant, former Hunger Coalition Board youth representative, and our youngest Open Hands Club member. In high school, Zana joined The Hunger Coalition board to share her fresh perspective and advance the well-being of her neighbors. Less than a decade later, she’s made a life of social good, empowering non-profits to be all they can be.

Gratitude inspires Zana’s giving. She said, “I’m just so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my own life, giving back is how I express my gratitude.” She joined The Hunger Coalition’s Open Hands Club to help provide  sustainable support for her hometown and “because an automated, monthly donation makes it so easy and takes all the work out of giving.Thank you, Zana for all you do to make our world a better place!


FROM THE CLASSROOM

COOKING MATTERS® FOR ELDERS 

Congratulations to the graduates of our recent Cooking Matters® for Elders course, in partnership with The Idaho Foodbank. For many students, graduation was just a stepping stone to continuing education. The group learned so much and had such a great time, they organized subsequent feasts to continue putting their new skills to good use and sharing what they learn with friends and family.

A daughter of one of the students said, “My mom and her friend took this class and they absolutely loved it! My family got to reap the benefits, as my mom made us one of the recipes over the weekend and it was delicious!”

Thank you students, volunteers, St. Luke’s Wood River Nutritionist, Sarah Seppa, Esta of Esta at Club 511The Idaho FoodbankSt. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, Valley of Peace Lutheran Church, Pastor Jerry Reinke and The Hunger Coalition‘s Sharon Dohse who made it all possible.

FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOPS

Our first series of Financial Literacy workshops was one fiscally responsible party after another. Led by Gus O’Neill, client resource & outreach coordinator, the series helped students learn to better navigate their finances and maximize their budget

Gus said, “Wow, these ladies rock! Their motivation to work toward financial independence brought me joy teaching the class. I hope future students demonstrate such a commitment to learning and personal growth.”

Empty Bowls: January 15

emptybowls_2017_poster-iiiiWe hope to see you at the 7th annual Empty Bowls event to enjoy great food and great art on behalf of The Hunger Coalition. Purchase a handmade ceramic bowl for $20 and fill it with soup, chili, salad, bread, and dessert made by local chefs! All proceeds benefit The Hunger Coalition.

This signature Wood River event is made possible by the collaboration of Boulder Mountain Clayworks, Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, and The Hunger Coalition.

Empty Bowls is held at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood’s cafeteria and features gourmet soups, crisp salads, hearty chili, fresh breads and delicious desserts from local restaurants and caterers including: Big Belly Deli, Bigwood Bread, CK’s Real Food, Cornerstone, Esta, The Grill at Knob Hill, Globus, The Haven, Ketchum Grill, Mahoney’s, Perry’s, Rasberrys, Starbucks, Sun Valley Company, Vingtage and many more.

Can’t go? Donate $20 here to support those in need and write Empty Bowls in the notes section.

Thank you Boulder Mountain Clayworks & Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood for your tremendous support!

The Many Courses of Cooking Matters

In collaboration with the Idaho Foodbank and made possible by the generosity of St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, The Hunger Coalition partnered with Silver Creek High School to take students on a multi-course adventure in cooking. The Cooking Matters class began with education in nutrition and hands-on cooking skills, involved a field trip to Atkinson’s Market where students took on the $10 challenge, and culminated in a cooking competition, complete with local chefs at the judges table. Impressed by the students’ talent, Chef Kate Metzger from Il Naso graciously invited the class into her kitchen so they could experience a professional kitchen firsthand.

The Hunger Coalition’s educator in residence, Sharon Dohse expressed how valuable Cooking Matters was to the students. She said, “The most amazing part of this class is the focus, intention, and collaboration that happens among the students. This year I witnessed problem-solving and self-evaluation on a higher level. Our judges panel asked hard questions, gave in-depth feedback, and shared more information about their personal rise to being a head chef.”

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Thanksgiving Baskets 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from The Hunger Coalition! On Monday, November 21 (and the days leading up to), local businesses, organizations, individuals, and families came together for the greater good: to ensure every family in need had a warm, full holiday meal to share with their loved ones.

Locals donated food, funds, and their time to make this important day possible. We are thankful for everyone involved:

Albertsons Market
The Sage School & Starr Weekes
Pioneer Montessori School
Syringa Mountain School
The Community School
Sherri Wakefield & Family
Teresa Englehart, Krista Felton & the LDS 2nd Ward Youth Groups
Gabbie Diedrick’s Hailey Elementary 2nd Grade class
Ginger Spence
Elizabeth Sturgess’s GATE class, Alturas and Bellevue
Silver Creek High School
Wood River High School
VOICE II students
Coldwell Banker Volunteers
Higher Ground
Wells Fargo Hailey Branch
Tony Knapp
Laurie Swall Christian
Matt Christian
Joanie Whitcomb Rumpeltes
Johnny Servin & Family
Irma Reigle
John and Christina Calvert
Antonio Munoz
Rob & Amy Swanson
Jim, Cliff, and Christie Graham & Family
Jenna Resko
Cecilee Torres & Family
Bellevue Library & The Community Library
Atkinsons’ Market

and to everyone who so generously donated the funds to provide these holiday meals to our neighbors in need!

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Thanksgiving Baskets 2016

happy thanksgivingWe are here to make this Thanksgiving extra special for you and your family.

Thanks to generous donors, The Hunger Coalition is able to provide Thanksgiving Baskets full of wonderful holiday foods. Please call 788-0121 for more information.

Thanksgiving Baskets will be given out at The Community Campus on Monday, November 21, 2016 from 4 – 6pm.

KMTV- Bloom Community Farm

By Desiree Fawn ( KMVT / KSVT ) – – HAILEY, Idaho 

 The Hunger Coalition is breaking ground on its new Bloom Community Farm.

The farm is located in Quigley Canyon east of Hailey.

The farm is starting as a half acre plot and will eventually increase to one and a half acres.

It is modeled on existing successful programs across the country.

Some of the food grown at the farm will be used in The Hunger Coalition’s community food bank and programs.

They are also looking into starting some discount mobile markets to sell discounted produce in the community.

“We identified there’s up to like a third of the population that could benefit from more affordable, healthy foods at any given point during the year. So, this is an attempt to address that situation of our high cost of living in general in this area and work with community food programs and education to get the food to everybody,” said Lynea Petty, Food Production Manager for The Hunger Coalition.

The Hunger Coalition has already had a lot of success growing its own food at the Hope Garden in Hailey. It’s hoping to expand those efforts with the new bloom farm. Just check out this garlic that they recently harvested. It looks a lot better than what you can buy in the store.

A crew from the Idaho Conservation Corp showed up to lend a hand. The Boise based non-profit helped build a fence around the farm to help keep out the elk and deer.

“We’ve finished up with our fence so we’ve moved on to helping them weed and in addition to that, helping to move some dirt around to help lay the foundation for kind of a children’s play area,” said William Ferry, crew leader for Idaho Conservation Corp.

In 2017, The Hunger Coalition will also implement a youth focused growing program with teens working on the farm.

Lunch in the Park – a hit with the kids!

By Desiree Fawn- KMTV

HAILEY, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) – A growing number of children in Blaine County are counting on a free “Lunch in the Park” during summer break.
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Lunch in the Park is a Federal program that is served locally through a partnership between The Hunger Coalition and the Blaine County School District.

Every Monday through Friday from noon to 1pm throughout the summer, kids flock to Balmoral Park in Woodside for a free healthy lunch and some socializing.

“42% of kids in Blaine County are on free and reduced lunch during the school year. And so, during the summer a lot of those guaranteed meals kind of go away. And so the idea is for us to provide food for those kids through the duration of the summer,” said Rachel Shinn, Volunteer Program Manager at The Hunger Coalition.

The Hunger Coalition said last year the program fed over 4500 meals to 350 kids.

This week marks the beginning of this year’s program. On Thursday, the program fed 73 children.

“It’s definitely gained every year. Gained popularity with the kids I guess and a lot more people trust the access. This program would not be successful without all of our amazing stellar volunteers that come out and just engage the kids and make sure the program runs really smoothly,” said Shinn.

You get to know the kids a little better, I’ve been doing this now, this is my second year and I’m trying to remember names, doing a pretty good job of it. It’s relaxed and it’s fun. We try to make it such that we’re here for them but we also like to see them enjoying themselves,” said Jane Oliver, volunteer.

Anyone ages 0 – 18 is welcome and adults arriving with children can purchase lunch at a reduced cost.

Click here to view the full news report.