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.
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.

KMVT- Community Food Assessment Information

Study:14 percent of Blaine County needs assistance with meals

HAILEY, Id. ( KMVT / KSVT ) – A group of Blaine County organizations recently completed a community food assessment, focusing on food production, consumption trends, food waste and recovery, and food security in the Wood River Valley.

The study revealed about 14 percent of Blaine County residents are food insecure, meaning they need extra assistance with meals.

“Within this generalized 14ish percent of food insecure population in Blaine County, there are quite big differences as you move between the cities here. So Sun Valley has the lowest number at about 4.9 percent, Ketchum moves up to about 9.4 percent. We have some different numbers for north of Ketchum and mid-valley, I’ll just stick with the main ones. Hailey bumps up to 17.2 percent, and Bellevue moves up to 19. And then you go down to Carey and you’re up at 50 percent. So there is a vast difference even within our average number of what food insecurity looks like in each of these communities,” Lynea Petty, Food Production Manager, The Hunger Coalition.

The community food bank garden, called The Hope Garden, is located just outside the Blaine County Court House in Hailey. The Hunger Coalition uses it to grow fresh produce for its clients and also gives its clients and opportunity to learn to grow food on their own.

Click here to view the news report from KMVT.

KMVT- Empty Bowls 2016

BLAINE COUNTY, Id. ( KMVT / KSVT ) – You might not think a place like Sun Valley needs a food bank…
But The Hunger Coalition in Blaine County says it served meals to almost 4,000 people in 2015, which is nearly a quarter of Blaine County’s population.

Over half of those meals went to children.

“Our clients are your neighbors. They could be the person that works at the supermarket or the person that takes your lift tickets or the barista, or dishwasher, housekeeper. It’s the general working force of our valley,” said Julie Molema, The Hunger Coalition.

The Sixth Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is taking place on Sunday in Ketchum.

The event raises money for The Hunger Coalition and features hand–made bowls that you can purchase for $20 and then fill with a gourmet lunch donated by local chefs and caterers.

Empty Bowls got its start 25 years ago in New England, and then spread internationally with potters near and far making bowls.

Restaurants and caterers donate their services, and they choose the month of January, which is when most food banks go hungry, after the generous holiday season.
“The potters are people anywhere from six years old to 80 years old. People who have spent their life playing in the mud as I like to call it, and also people who have never held a piece of clay in their hands before. So, there’s the full gamut,” said Sandra Hofferber, Boulder Mountain Clayworks.

You can purchase and fill your empty bowl on Sunday from noon to 2pm at the Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.

The Hunger Coalition Extends its Hours


Food Bank 2014_024The Hunger Coalition in Bellevue will extend its hours of operation, beginning on April 27, to meet an increase in demand from working families.

Food distribution hours will be extended at its Bellevue warehouse location on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Hunger Coalition is open to the public, offering food assistance and private consultations for walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Spring slack can be a slow time of year for many valley businesses, but it’s one of the busiest for the Hunger Coalition,” said Hunger Coalition Communications and Development Manager Julie Molema. “Many families struggle to pay bills and put food on the table at this time of year.”

The Hunger Coalition works to end hunger in the Wood River Valley community by providing wholesome food to those in need and by promoting solutions to the underlying causes of hunger through collaboration, education and advocacy.

Food Bank 2014_032Molema said she has seen a recent uptick in the number of families using the Hunger Coalition to get by, with more and more families arriving in the last hour of business during Monday’s busy food distribution period in Bellevue.

After conducting client surveys, analyzing check-in times and receiving comments from food recipients about how it can be difficult to access the services after work, the organization decided to extend its Monday mobile food bank distribution.

“We’ve received numerous comments from clients that it is hard to access our food distributions after work,” said Associate Director Naomi Spence. “And the amount of people coming to get food in the last half hour in Bellevue has increased dramatically in the last several months.”

For more information, visit

The original article, came from the Idaho Mountain Express April 17 edition.

Hope Garden seeks volunteer gardeners, extends food bank hours

Originally posted on Eye on Sun Valley

Want to get your hands dirty?

The Hope Garden Team is getting ready to plant leafy greens, vegetables summer berries and fragrant herbs.

Volunteers are invited to join the cause, raising fresh produce for hungry families, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Hope Garden outside the Blaine County Courthouse at First and Walnut streets in Hailey.

Fresh bites are need more than ever, even though the Great Recession appears to be winding down. The Hunger Coalition recently distributed food to 129 families in a single week–very high numbers, said Julie Molema.

In response,The Hunger Coalition is extending its Monday mobile food bank hours.

Starting Monday, April 27, the Bellevue warehouse will be open from 1 to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate those working several jobs but still unable to make ends meet. The Hunger Coalition  offers food assistance and private consultations for walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’ve receive numerous comments from clients that it is hard to access our food distribution after work,” said Associate Director Naomi Spence. “And the amount of people coming to get food in the last half-hour in Bellevue has increased dramatically in the past several months.”

Call Hallie Reikowsky at 720-1521 or email for more information about the Hope Garden.

For more information about The Hunger Coalition, go to or call 788-0121


Read the online version here.

Hunger Coalition Braces for Lean Season


photo by Dev Khalsa

photo by Dev Khalsa

After the generosity and abundance of the holiday season, businesses often see a downturn. Subsequently, those in need begin to face the leanest time of year.

“The hunger season is upon us,” states a recent news release issued from the nonprofit Blaine County Hunger Coalition.

Last March, the Hunger Coalition saw 576 locals come through their lines at its mobile food bank—a record high—compared to their last high of 481 people in March 2011, the organization reported. Continue reading

Empty Bowls on KMVT


Empty Bowls 10-BEB_low

To help raise awareness and funds for combating hunger in Blaine County, The Hunger Coalition, Boulder Mountain Clayworks, and the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood are hosting the 5th annual “Empty Bowls” event on Sunday, January 18th from 12PM to 2PM at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.“So you come and you pick out a bowl  for $20. It’s a handmade, locally handmade bowl from Boulder Mountain Clayworks and then you get to fill it with fabulous food through local restaurants and catering throughout the valley,” said Julie Molema, The Hunger Coalition. To see the entire KMVT interview click here.

Hope for the Hungry


IfIMG_0475_low you’re looking for a way to combine giving with fun, consider attending the Boulder Mountain Clayworks Empty Bowls luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Ketchum.

Using handcrafted bowls made by community volunteers, the organization hosts an annual meal that benefits the Blaine County Hunger Coalition. Each bowl costs $20, and a host of acclaimed local restaurants donate ingredients and cooking talent to the cause…. Read the entire Idaho Mountain Express article here.


The Hunger Coalition Begins Local Food Study

106_smThe Hunger Coalition is initiating a nearly year-long study on food in Blaine County, with the intent of compiling data to better inform decisions on food-related issues.

According to The Hunger Coalition’s website, its community food assessment will take a detailed look at the social, economic and institutional factors that affect quantity and quality of food available locally, as well as its affordability…. Read the entire Idaho Mountain Express article here.