HAILEY, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) – A growing number of children in Blaine County are counting on a free “Lunch in the Park” during summer break.
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.
The awards ceremony, held in Boise on January 21st, recognized Idaho’s “unsung heroes” who volunteer tirelessly on behalf of children and families. The Hunger Coalition was one of 10 finalists and the only organization nominated in the Wood River Valley. Board member John Kahm accepted the award on behalf of The Hunger Coalition. Serve Idaho promotes collaborative efforts among private and non-profit organizations, schools, and state and local government agencies to advance national service programs and volunteerism throughout the state. Continue reading →
BELLEVUE, Id ( KMVT / KSVT ) – October is Hunger Awareness Month in Idaho.
The Hunger Coalition says it helps provide meals to 17% of Blaine County’s population. This year, they are already seeing some record highs. “Monday we served 82 food boxes at our Bellevue location in one day which is close to a record, I think our record is 88 boxes in one day. Which is surprising to us because we’re not really quite in slack yet. It’s a little early for us to see those numbers,” said Julie Molema, Communications Manager for The Hunger Coalition.
The organization receives over 50% of its funding from individual donations. Just in time for hunting season, The Hunger Coalition is also accepting full or partial game meat donations. The best way to donate a portion of this year’s harvest is to contact them directly or let your local processor know you’d like to make a donation.
The public is invited to attend a panel discussion this weekend to learn more about The Hunger Coalition’s recently completed Community Food Assessment. The year-long project conducted food based surveys and compiled community “food data.”
“The data is important because we want to build programs that reflect the actual need of the community,” said Lynea Petty, Community Food Assessment Manager.
The data shows 14% of Blaine County residents need help putting food on the table.
In addition to this weekend’s panel discussion, The Hunger Coalition is hosting a movie at the end of the month related to food waste recovery.
You can learn about all those event dates on their website, thehungercoalition.org.
COFFEE SHOP TALK
TIMES AND DATES! Bring your thoughts and questions about the Community Food Assessment!
Tuesday December 9 9-10am at The Hunger Coalition’s Office
121 Honeysuckle Street, Bellevue
5:30-6:30 at Powerhouse
411 North Main Street, Hailey Wednesday December 10th 9-10am at Hailey Coffee Company
219 South Main Street, Hailey Thursday December 11th 9-10am at Starbucks
491 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum
Do you have a passion to end hunger in our community? The Hunger Coalition is seeking two dynamic Americorps VISTA members to join our highly efficient team. The Outreach Coordinator and Research Coordinator will conduct a year-long Community Food Assessment. Must enjoy working with people, be flexible and highly organized, with excellent computer, writing, administrative and communication skills. 40 hrs/week, includes modest living allowance, health care, and housing stipend. For more info click here. Registration with AmeriCorps required.
-October 2nd, 6:00PM at the Community Library in Ketchum
-October 23rd, 6:30PM at the Community Campus Auditorium in Hailey
50 Million Americans – 1 in 4 children – don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat.
Want to do more? Check out our other activities for Hunger Awareness Month:
October 16th: Skip-A-Meal or Fast for the Day and donate the money saved to The Hunger Coalition
October 24th: National Food Day. Sage School Door-to-Door Food Drive Neighborhoods include: Deerfield, Della View, Foxmoor, Hulen Meadows, Northridge, Old Hailey, West Ketchum. For more information, contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 788-0121.
Thank you for getting involved and making a difference!
Photo courtesy Great Basin Incident Management Team
The full effect of the Beaver Creek Fire may come after the flames have been extinguished. The economic impact to our community will be felt most by those dependent upon the income lost during this critical time. Landscapers, construction workers, service industry workers and others who have been unable to work during the recent evacuations and closure of businesses will be faced with an even greater struggle—managing to get by without enough to feed their families. The Hunger Coalition is here to help! Continue reading →