Thanksgiving Baskets 2017


Happy Thanksgiving from The Hunger Coalition! On Monday, November 20 (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. Full story here:

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

+ The Sage School for coordinating our Thanksgiving food drive – collecting and delivering all the food

+ Thanksgiving food drive contributors: Sun Valley Company, POWER Engineers, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Sothebys Real Estate
+ 450 Homemade pies were made by Pioneer Montessori School, Sage School led by Starr Weekes, and Syringa Mountain School 
+ Albertsons who donated 160 Thanksgiving meals with funds raised by the community
+ Higher Ground whose entire staff volunteered and delivered 390 turkeys
BCRD who let us use the gym 
+ Community Library and Hailey Public Library who handed out free books to all of the children
+ Volunteer team leaders – Laurie and Matt Christian, Tony Knapp, and Jenna Resko and the 75 volunteers who made sure the entire effort ran smooth
+ Sage School students also made 150 cards, a Sage School mother made 80 more herself, the families of Sherri Ditch and Carey Thaxton also made cards  
+ Teresa Gregory and Juan Servin were especially helpful at the Community Campus

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

Farm Appreciation Party 2017

This year’s Farm Appreciation Party was one to remember thanks to our extraordinarily awesome community. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy Bloom Community Farm and made the evening truly special, thanks to our generous sponsor, D. L. Evans Bank, to Hal Jardine & Sun Valley Resort for the delicious appetizers, Bigwood Bread Bakery and Cafe for everyone’s favorite bread, thanks to S&C Wines and Sawtooth Brewery for keeping our glasses full, to Andrew Sheppard Music for laying it down, to Charlotta Harris, Judy Cahill, and Tyler Michael Hendricks for documenting the evening (@Charlotta’s beautiful photos here), to Mike McKenna for hauling and tapping the keg, then to Lance Thompson for troubleshooting, to our amazing board (McNair Livingston Bailey, @Deb Robertson, Laurie Strand, Craig Eastop, @Todd Stewart, Elizabeth Huish, @Linda Edwards) who stepped in and welcomed guests, tended bar, managed parking, helped setup and break down, to the local companies who donated raffle prizes as an extra special thank you for our wonderful volunteers, and to our staff who sure can throw a mean party: Noel Jensen, Megan Schooley, Krista Felton, Lynea Petty, Naomi Spence, Brooke Pace McKenna, Jeanne Ernst Liston, Sierra Schuckert, Sharon Dohse, @Abbie Mallory, and the ever-bloomin’ Bloom Youth Project interns!


Bloom Youth Project Iron Chef Competition

Last month, Bloom Youth Project interns and Sharon Dohse, client resource and education supervisor, devised a friendly Iron Chef-style competition to demonstrate their farm-fresh cooking and teamwork skills. What resulted was something to behold. They made roasted root vegetable pot stickers, vegetable curry, chili-sweet corn ice cream (winner – most creative), salad with corn, tomato, and herbs, rice pudding with berries and much, much, more.

Thank you Sun Valley Company Chefs, Hal Jardine and Steve Van Zelfden for mentoring the chefs-in-training, and judges Sarah Barnett Seppa, Wendy Little, and Sierra Schuckert and the one and only Sharon Dohse for making it all happen.

Bloom Youth Project is funded in part by the Wood River Women’s Foundation.

Please enjoy the beautiful presentation and hard work of the interns…..

Photos by Shanti LaRue

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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Bloom Farm: Twine Cutting Ceremony & Appreciation Party

We had an incredible night at the Bloom Farm Twine Cutting Ceremony & Appreciation Party. Our deepest thanks goes out to our volunteers from Wells Fargo bank,  Al McCord of the Wood River Sustainability Center for the best ever rescued vegetable soup, D. L. Evans Bank for your sponsorship, Hal Jardine of the Ram Restaurant at Sun Valley Co. for the amazing appetizers, Sawtooth Brewery for the keg of favorite local beer, Chase Hamilton and S&C Wines for the mighty fine wine, the Hurdy Gurdy Girls and their rowdy strings, Charlotta Harris for capturing the evening in the photos below, Lance Thompson for help parking, the help of Mike McKenna to make the keg come alive, Matt Spence for collecting rocks and hanging signs, the fun and compassionate crowd, and the Bloom team (board and staff) for tying it all together.

Monumental thanks to everyone who had a hand in making the Bloom Community Farm Ribbon Cutting & Appreciation Party wildly successful.

Here’s what the night looked like:

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Spring Corporate Food Drive 2016 Success!

THC_CorpFoodDriveWinner_newsletterOur 2016 Spring Corporate food drive was a huge success! Eleven local businesses collected a whopping 2,250 pounds of food and $4950 in donations!

This will provide almost 4,000 meals to families in need! Recently, we saw 146 families who we provided nutritious food to all of them. Our numbers will likely grow during slack and we are so pleased to have stocked shelves to meet the seasonal need.

Here are our top five contributors from the 2016 Spring Corporate Food Drive:

1. Cold Springs Crossing
2. Sun Valley Company
3. Marketron
4. St. Luke’s Wood River
5. Idaho Mountain Express

Thank you to all our participants including

Atlantic Aviation
Cold Springs Crossing

High Country Fusion
Idaho Mountain Express
POWER Engineers
Redfish Technology
St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center
Sun Valley Animal Center
Sun Valley Resort

 We couldn’t have done it without you!

Empty Bowls 2016

Empty Bowls 2016! Thank you to everyone who helped make this event happen!

EVENT PHOTOS by Lyndsey Mason.

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Hunger is a community wide challenge affecting more people than you might
even in a wealthy community like ours. To help raise awareness and funds to combat hunger locally, Boulder Mountain Clayworks, The Hunger Coalition and the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood are hosting the 6th Annual Empty Bowls event on Sunday, January 17 from 12 noon – 2 pm at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood.

Empty Bowls is sponsored by Boulder Mountain Clayworks!

Empty Bowls takes place in 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: Atkinsons’ Markets, Bigwood Bread,  Big Belly Deli, Cornerstone Bar and Grill,  CK’s Real FoodEnoteca, il NasoKetchum GrillKnob Hill Inn,  Mahoney’sOak St. Foods, Perry’sStarbucksSun Valley CompanyThe HavenVintage Restaurant and many more.

During this unique community event, attendees purchase a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl for $20, then fill the bowl with delicious soups, salads, chili, bread and dessert—all donated by local chefs and caterers. Thanks to Boulder Mountain Clayworks, there will be more than 300 hand-crafted and hand-painted bowls from professional and amateur artisans to select from this year.

Winter months can be especially difficult for families struggling to make ends meet, as higher heating bills put additional pressure on household budgets. “Empty Bowls is a great way to show support for community members in need,” said Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition. “Local residents of all ages have an opportunity to share a delicious communal meal, receive a beautiful bowl, and help fight hunger in the Wood River Valley.”

Proceeds will benefit the thousands of Blaine County residents who receive food assistance and related support from The Hunger Coalition every year. For the cost of one bowl, The Hunger Coalition can provide more than a day’s worth of healthy, nourishing meals for a family of three.

IMG_050_lowBring your family and friends to Empty Bowls and enjoy a truly memorable and meaningful meal. Together, we can ensure that everyone in the community has enough healthy food to eat throughout the year.

The Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood is located at 100 Saddle Road, across from the YMCA in Ketchum. All are welcome. Admission price is the purchase of a $20 bowl. For more information, contact The Hunger Coalition at (208) 788-0121.

Thanksgiving Baskets 2015


Wow! What a day at The Hunger Coalition! On November 23, over 100 dedicated volunteers came together and helped distribute nearly 400 Thanksgiving Baskets to community members in need! Baskets were complete with a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, cranberries and a homemade pumpkin pie courtesy of The Sage School, The Community School, Syringa Mountain School and Pioneer Montessori.

Thank you to the generous donations at Albertsons checkstands and direct donations from the community to help make this happen!! Also thanks to all the volunteers and participants who came together to make this special day possible. What a wonderful feeling helping provide a hearty, delicious holiday meal to all of our community members!

Special shout out to The Community Library, Hailey Public Library and Bellevue Public Library for organizing a book giveaway for kids! Families could choose from a huge table of books to give their youngsters.

Here are some touching testimonials from Thanksgiving Basket recipients:

“It will make it possible for our family give thanks and remind us how lucky we are to be part of such a great community.”
“Living with a limited income and thanksgiving being my favorite holiday, I can receive food which I can’t buy.”
“My family and I will be able to have our first thanksgiving together as a family which would make our day – we recently lost my brother.”
“I am on a fixed disability income and its hard at times. We don’t have alot to work with. This will give us an opportunity to have a family dinner together. Leftovers can be stretched too.”

Happy Holidays everyone!!


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Cooking Matters – Silver Creek High School 2015


Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!


Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!


Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!


Last day of class – Extreme Food Makeover Competition!


Shopping for ingredients for the cooking competition.


Students learn how to make a healthy breakfast omelette.


Silver Creek High School students learn how to make a healthy breakfast omelette with fresh vegetables.


Graduation day!


Cooking Matters instructor, Sharon Dohse, shares a laugh with Silver Creek High School students.


Silver Creek High School students making a healthy spaghetti meal.

This fall, the Cooking Matters® classes (taught in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank) were taught to Silver Creek High School 11th and 12th graders. “Cooking Matters®” is a 6-week course that teaches individuals, families and kids how healthy cooking can be delicious, gratifying and most importantly – reasonably priced.

Thanks to a $6,377 grant from the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, these cooking and nutrition classes are possible.

“I loved these kids – they were so excited to learn about cooking healthy meals!” said Sharon Dohse, Cooking Matters® instructor. “I was impressed with the questions these students had about nutrition labels and about processed food in general,” added Sharon. “They learned a lot about what choices to make when going grocery shopping and on the last day of class, we had a cooking competition, where Kate Metzger, Executive Chef at il Naso, Ashton Wilson from the BCRD, and local caterer, Esta Hornstein were the judges,” added Sharon.

“We believe that The Hunger Coalition’s work aligns with the mission of the SLWR Foundation, which is to accelerate the advancement of innovative programs and services that fundamentally improve healthcare experiences in our community,” said Megan Thomas, Chief Development Officer at the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

Cooking Matters® is a year-round nutrition education program at The Hunger Coalition. Upcoming classes in 2016 include a segment teaching the VOICE II students (kids 18-21 with disabilities). “I can’t wait to teach the VOICE II students next year,” said Sharon. “They are an engaged group of kids, with a thirst for learning–by doing,” added Sharon.

By participating in “Cooking Matters®” classes, students receive a dish to consume during each class, a bag of free ingredients for select classes, hands-on learning, text book, graduation certificate and gift bag provided upon completion of the course. To graduate, students must attend four of the six sessions.


Shopping for ingredients for the cooking competition.


Silver Creek High School students learning how to make healthy breakfast omelette.

The nutrition segment of each class is taught by Laurie McBride, a registered dietitian from St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. During each class, a healthy dish is cooked that exemplifies the nutrition lesson. “It was great talking about nutrition, and helping students decipher nutrition labels,” said Laurie. “They definitely understood the value of looking at labels and making good choices when shopping for food,” she added.

“This class is a perfect fit for our Big Picture Learning school,” said Silver Creek High School principal, Mike Glenn. “It is a workshop format packed with dense learning and immediately applicable. When students go home and cook for their mom, brothers and sisters or guardian and share their new knowledge about healthy eating, this is very impactful.” added Mike.

“Sharon is patient and caring in her approach to teaching. This hands-on approach is so effective in teaching this population of students. She has rallied many community resources and folks to come in and share their love of cooking to our students and the results speak for themselves- student engagement.” said Mike.

Nutrition education taught by Laurie McBride, a registered dietitian from St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center.