Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Prior

kathy Prior volunteering at The Hunger Coalition

Volunteer, Kathy Prior bags and sorts green onions at The Hunger Coalition’s warehouse for a busy food distribution day.

How or why did you first become a Volunteer for The Hunger Coalition?

My two older daughters and I first started packing backpacks for the Backpack Program in 2007, since 2008 I have done hunger outreach in California and Oregon and now I’m back with The Hunger Coalition. Being an adopted child myself at the age of 10, I know how meaningful it is to have the emotional security of knowing where your next meal will come from.

What other interests or hobbies do you have?  Do you volunteer anywhere else? What did you know about The Hunger Coalition before becoming a Volunteer?

I’m most passionate about caring for others, whether it be through foster parenting, homeless outreach, hunger volunteering or being with my 7 children and 13 grandchildren. In my down time I enjoy hiking with my golden retriever and my only child still at home, spending time with my best friend Mal, scrapbooking, refurbishing/repurposing older items, being in nature, gardening and baking. I also deliver food for Meals on Wheels and scoop ice cream at the Senior Center Ice Cream Parlor. I was a foster parent for 26 years and have in the past volunteered my training in crisis intervention for the foster/adopt trainings, as well as done crisis outreach for families that have suffered economical or emotional trauma. I knew little of the specific interworking of The Hunger Coalition before volunteering but I’m delighted every day to learn a little more than I knew the day/month or year before.

What would you tell people The Hunger Coalition is now that you have been a part of the team?

The Hunger Coalition is extremely vital in a community like the Wood River Valley where the incomes vary so drastically from the very low income and working class, to the very well off and  economically privileged. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing a heartfelt service that might be easily pushed under the rug (or not as easily accessible due to the rural proximity of the community) if it were not for The Hunger Coalition.

Can you share a particular memory or favorite experience you have had while working here?

I’m not in the forefront and I often prefer to be the anonymous volunteer due to my personality and the fact that I believe that all my skills, talents and abilities have been a gift from my Creator and not of my own doing or being… That being said, I love to hear the laughter of the children as the get their food, the sharing of their parents with the other volunteers up front and the honest encouragement and genuine caring that is given to the families by the resource volunteers.

What sorts of jobs do you do as a Volunteer?  What kind of people do you work with?

I’ve readied the backpacks to go home with the children for the weekends, I’ve sorted and collected food from the grocery stores in Ketchum (Food Rescue Program) and delivered it to the warehouse. Now I help stock the shelves for distribution days and I package produce and food products in a family-friendly manner. The people at The Hunger Coalition are a different breed of humanity for sure; set aside by the light emitted from their spirits and the happiness shared via their extension of hope to the needy! It is my honor to be in  the presence of such beautiful souls and I’m humbled every day by how much of themselves they give freely to others.

WRMS Students Take on Philanthropy Project


wrmsBy WRMS Leadership Students

“The fate of the world is in your hands. What will you do with it?” is a quote from the late Rose Beal, a holocaust survivor, who visited Wood River Middle School students several years ago.  The challenge she posed struck a chord with WRMS GATE facilitator, Melanie Schrader, and this year she worked to develop curriculum to help her leadership students meet this challenge. In collaboration with the CenturyLink Philanthropy Project, the Wood River Middle School 7th Grade Leadership Class took on the task of  identifying non-profits in our community and determining which ones they would work with to make a difference.  

CenturyLink developed their philanthropy project to empower students to give back to their community. As part of the project, leadership students were given grant money in the amount of $3,000 dollars to give to nonprofits. They ended up dividing the money in half and giving it to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley and The Hunger Coalition. The results of this project impacted these students and our community greatly. Continue reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Becky and Nick Brooks

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Becky and Nick Brooks returning from rescuing food from Albertsons- look at the fabulous food they brought back. Thanks Becky and Nick!

1. How or why did you first become a Volunteer for The Hunger Coalition?

I home school Nick and some of our principles in life are to be kind, loving, giving of yourself and to be helpful in our community.

  1. What other interests or hobbies do you have? 

You will probably see Nick riding his longboard around town, or playing his Ukulele. He also loves skiing and snowboarding in the winter and wakeboarding in the summer. I also snow and waterski, hike and enjoy anything about healthy living and enjoying everything that God has blessed us with.  We like to do that when we can to help others, when an opportunity arises. Continue reading

Sage School Farm to Table Feast 2016

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The Sage School 10th and 11th grade class had their very own “Restaurant Startup” premiere. They had a bit more than 36 hours to prepare, but these students pulled off a major catering feat of planning, cooking, serving and cleaning up over 100 plates–without a hitch. Held at Elkhorn Restaurant, the event was as a fundraiser for The Hunger Coalition was a rousing success, raising $6,500!

“The students put on the event that integrated lessons they had learned about our food and agricultural system throughout the entire year,” said Sage School’s Emma Drucker, Writing and Literacy and Human Ecology Teacher. “Students called farmers, asked what they had in season, created a menu that was responsive to the food available, and sourced all of the food for the feast,” added Drucker.

At every turn you could see the work that went in to planning this large event. “The students in charge of decorations decided to use vases that they salvaged from the recycling (many of them formerly food containers) to create eco-friendly decor.” said Drucker. They even designed the menu which included a greek salad, entrees of beef kebabs and a spring fettuccine and veggie pasta, and tiramisu for dessert almost all thumb_DSC_0225_1024of which was prepared by Sage School 10th-and 11th-graders.

“The students put a tremendous amount of thought into the entire
event and were really proud to share their knowledge about food and support The Hunger Coalition through this event,” added Drucker. Continue reading

Idaho Gives 2016 – Thank you donors!

idg_2016_logo_color_taglineIdaho Gives 2016 was a huge success for The Hunger Coalition and Blaine County kids!

YOU raised $13,080 total to support The Summer Food Program! Thank you to The Nalen Foundation for their $5,000 matching grant which doubled every donation up to $5,000!

Idaho Gives - Summer Food program helps feed local kids. One last thank you goes to the Idaho Non Profit Center !

What a generous community we live in! Continue reading

Volunteer Spotlight: The Gedde Family

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Holy sorters! The Gedde family helped sort over 400 pounds of perishable fruits and vegetables donated to us from Atkinsons’ Market Bellevue.

How or why did you first become a Volunteer for The Hunger Coalition? We are part of the Catholic Church Diaconate program in which we were to choose a volunteer service for 12 weeks. We chose your organization.

What other interests or hobbies do you have? Do you volunteer anywhere else? What did you know about The Hunger Coalition before becoming a Volunteer?  Our family likes the outdoors.  We love the mountain life for skiing, hiking, camping and fishing.  We also love the ocean life for swimming, snorkeling, boogie-boarding and sunbathing.  As far as volunteering, yes, we volunteer at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in youth ministry.

Knowledge of The Hunger Coalition:  We knew little about the program but have seen your van around town and ads in the local papers. Continue reading

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
Marketron
POWER Engineers
Redfish Technology
St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center
Sun Valley Animal Center
Sun Valley Resort
Zenergy

 We couldn’t have done it without you!

Cooking Matters Spring 2016!

Cooking Matters at The Hunger Coalition in conjunction with the Idaho Foodbank.

Cooking Matters participants wrapping up the Spring session!

Our Spring session of “Cooking Matters for Adults” (a cooking and nutrition series taught in conjunction with The Idaho Foodbank) has come to a close!

Volunteer chef, Loren Oden teaches healthy cooking techniques at a Spring 2016 Cooking Matters class.

Volunteer chef, Loren Oden teaches healthy cooking techniques at a Spring 2016 Cooking Matters class.

Ninteen overall participants gathered each Wednesday evening to learn about cooking and budgeting healthy meals for themselves and their families.

Our volunteer chefs, Loren Oden and Esta Hornstein have been cooking up dishes like Chinese Veggies and Rice, Pineapple Carrot Muffins, and Pasta with Roasted Vegetables.

Volunteer nutritionists, Sarah Seppa and Laurie McBride from St. Luke’s teach nutrition education and volunteer interpreter and Board Member Cyndi Ochoa helps translate for Spanish speakers.

“Last week we did the Blubber Burger activity, which demonstrates how much fat is in our favorite convenience foods,” said Krista Felton, Cooking Matters Coordinator. Continue reading

Idaho Gives 2016!

You did it! We reached our $5,000 goal and received a matching challenge from The Nalen Foundation!

Thank you to everyone who donate to Idaho Gives yesterday! YOU raised a total of $13,080  for Blaine County kids and the Summer Food Program! What an incredible day of giving! Thank you to The Nalen Foundation for their inspiring $5,000 matching challenge, and to each and every donor who supported us!

matching_carrotsThe 2015 Summer Food Program served 4,533 free breakfasts, lunches and snacks to local children in need. This is done with the generous help of numerous community volunteers. A record 87 kids were served in one day!

A 24-hour day of online charitable giving, Idaho Gives is a powerful way to support The Hunger Coalition and Blaine County kids. Be a part of something big. When we go all in, Idaho wins! Your donations can help The Hunger Coalition win extra award money. Click below to donate to The Hunger Coalition!

idaho gives double your donation

On May 5th, Idaho Gives – will you?

Cooking Matters with VOICE II!

DSCF2001Ding! Off goes the timer! This session of Cooking Matters classes has wrapped up! We were thrilled to have the VOICE II students (adults aged 18-21 with disabilities) learning about cooking and nutrition education this time around.

Thanks to guest chef Esta Hornstein for her fabulous cooking and teaching skills. Esta taught the students about cutting vegetables, cracking eggs without breaking the yolk and about reading and following recipes. “‘I can’t believe it’s over….when can we do the next one?’ smiled Esta. “The students were just beaming holding their graduation certificates,” said Esta. “I just loved teaching this class, they are all really great kids.”

DSCF2035Star nutritionist from St. Luke’s, Laurie McBride, taught the students about nutrition and what to look for when reading food labels. “The VOICE II students were so much fun to teach!” said Laurie. “Their interest in learning about healthy foods and serving sizes was great, they especially had an interest in added sugar and how to identify sugars on the nutrition label,” added Laurie.

Every week, each student got to take home all the ingredients to make the meal taught in that week’s class. They could practice what they learned that week  AND make a wonderful healthy meal for their families!

We are getting ready to start another 6-week course in March for adults which will be funded in part by Don & Marcia Liebich. Continue reading