Grants received from Wood River Women’s Foundation for Bloom

 

bloom_logo_orangeThe Hunger Coalition and The Community Library both received grants from the Wood River Women’s Foundation, a Philanthropic Gift Fund of the Idaho Community Foundation. Grants were given to support the Bloom trailer program which provides free, healthy sack lunches from The Hunger Coalition and library books from The Community Library to children living in outlying areas in the valley.

The foundation provided an overall grant of $27,000, with $18,180 going to The Hunger Coalition and $8,820 to The Community Library.

IMG_2346Bloom opens up such wonderful opportunities to impact lives,” said Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition.  “Reaching kids in isolated neighborhoods with nourishing food feeds young bodies.  The added partnership with The Community Library is feeding young minds. Both are critical in helping children blossom and grow.”

With the addition of Bloom, The Hunger Coalition’s Summer Food Program fed 95% more kids this June compared to the prior year. In addition, 16 local partner organizations have jumped on board to provide free activities, including 4-H, the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, the Forest Service and more.

Jenny Emery Davidson, Executive Director of The Community Library states, “We are excited by this collaborative outreach program that is helping The Community Library extend its summer reading program to even more children in our rural mountain area. By bringing books and activities to kids in their own neighborhoods, we hope to enrich their summers and inspire them to lives full of learning!”

Through Bloom, just in its first month on the road, 134 children have gotten new library cards, and they have checked out 532 books. That is a lot of reading happening in neighborhoods from Carey to North Fork!

With the support of organizations like the Wood River Women’s Foundation, The Hunger Coalition and The Community Library can ensure our community’s children have a real chance at becoming healthy, productive adults.

The Hunger Coalition strives to end hunger in our community by providing wholesome food to those in need and by promoting solutions to the underlying causes of hunger through collaboration, education and advocacy. For more information, visit www.thehungercoalition.org.

The Community Library brings information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of our community. We work to promote literacy, encourage community conversations, provide contemplative space, foster creativity, and deepen a sense of place in central Idaho.

The Hunger Coalition to start a Community Farm

IMG_3504The Hunger Coalition broke ground in June for a community farm. Located in Quigley Canyon east of Hailey, Bloom Community Farm will provide many opportunities for youth and adults through growing and accessing healthy, local food. The farm will start as a half-acre pilot program and increase to 1 ½ acres in subsequent years. There are a total of five acres available for future use thanks to Quigley Farm, who is leasing the land for $1 per year to The Hunger Coalition.
Modeled on existing successful programs across the country, such as Volunteering for Veggies, Discount Mobile Markets for seniors, and sliding scale Community Supported Agriculture, Bloom Community Farm will help The Hunger Coalition craft new programs to meet the changing needs of individuals and families in Blaine County.

“These types of programs provide multiple avenues for community members to access the healthy food they deserve,” said Lynea Petty, Food Production Manager at The Hunger Coalition.

In 2017, The Hunger Coalition will also implement a youth-focused growing program with teens working on the farm. “With the youth piece of the program, we hope to develop resiliency, foster life skills, and teach coping mechanisms to local youth to help them blossom into healthy, contributing community members,” said Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition.

“The Bloom Community Farm hopes to nurture our community by bringing people together in a family-friendly environment and to connect with the land,” said Naomi Spence, Associate Director. “It’s a ‘good for you place’, providing a gathering place for community members to meet around food, get their hands dirty, and get back to the basics of growing food,” added Spence.

The Hunger Coalition hopes that Bloom Community Farm will provide a place for diverse partnerships with local organizations and continued expansion of food production programs supporting the health and well-being of all community members and their families. They are eager to build upon their successes in emergency food assistance by expanding their programming to reach a broader community.

The Hunger Coalition is seeking volunteers to assist with the startup of Bloom Community Farm. Volunteer needs range from fence and structure building to weeding and bed planting and provide a great opportunity to get the whole family involved. Call Rachel Shinn, Volunteer Manager at 788-0121 or email rshinn@thehungercoalition.org. The farm is located at the south side of Quigley Canyon, past Wood River High School at the end of Fox Acres Rd.

The public will be invited to join The Hunger Coalition for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October during Idaho Hunger Awareness Month. Stay tuned!

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.

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

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!

Annual Spring Corporate Food Drive Brings in Needed Food!

Spring is quicspringcorporatefooddrivekly approaching in our valley and that means it’s time for The Hunger Coalition to partner with local businesses for the annual Spring Corporate Food Drive.

From April 4 -15, 2016, Atlantic Aviation, High Country Fusion, Idaho Mountain Express, Marketron, POWER Engineers, Redfish Technology, St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, Sun Valley Resort, Cold Springs CrossingSawtooth Animal Center and Zenergy will be competing to bring The Hunger Coalition non-perishable foods and financial contributions. The business that brings in the most donations will be awarded the coveted Golden Can Award!

 

“The Spring Corporate Food Drive comes at a critical time for The Hunger Coalition,” stated Jeanne Liston, Executive Director.  “We continue to see some of the highest numbers of people receiving food assistance in the history of our organization.”  Statistics indicate the need for food assistance across the state and country is increasing, despite improvements in the economy.  “While 80% of our clients are working at least one job, many just don’t earn enough to make ends meet due to low wages.  The food received from the Spring Corporate Food Drive will help dramatically and be distributed immediately.” Continue reading

The Hunger Coalition Receives $5,000 Grant from Idaho Community Foundation

The Hunger Coalition - photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition – photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition has received $5,000 from the Gladys E. Langroise Advised Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation to support the Daily Bites program which supplies a healthy snack and supplemental food pantry in each participating school in the district.

 

“This is such an incredible gift from the Gladys E. Langroise Fund,” said Jeanne Liston,  Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition. “This support for Daily Bites helps ensure local children can receive a healthy snack to alleviate a growling belly, helping kids concentrate and thrive at school,” added Liston. Continue reading

The Hunger Coalition Prepares for the ‘Hunger Season’

Food Bank 2014_011When Spring arrives, The Hunger Coalition braces. In March alone last year, The Hunger Coalition distributed 616 food boxes, second highest to November’s record 757 food boxes. This year, The Hunger Coalition is preparing for even higher numbers.

Many people wonder ‘How can people be hungry in this valley?’ The fact that many individuals and families just don’t make enough money to cover all of their expenses is the main reason, and is explained further in the ALICE Report recently released by the United Way of the Pacific Northwest.

ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, takes a close look at those households living above the Federal Poverty line, but not earning enough to make ends meet. According to ALICE, the annual household survival budget in Blaine County is $20,328 for a single adult and $67,176 for a family of four. Many of The Hunger Coalition clients make well below that amount, forcing them to receive food assistance. In 2013, 35% of Blaine County’s 9,205 households were ALICE or living in poverty. Continue reading

MAKING THE HOLIDAYS SPECIAL ON A BUDGET

tgiving turkeyThe Hunger Coalition helps local families experience the celebration of the holiday season

Slack is here and your work hours just got cut. Are you wondering how you’ll pull off Thanksgiving dinner this year, with only a few dollars left after being paid? The Hunger Coalition wants to help fill your table.

Holiday feasts are meant to add comforting contrast to the long, cold days of winter. If you’re facing an empty holiday table this year, know that your community is here to help.

Thanks to generous donors, The Hunger Coalition is able to provide Thanksgiving Baskets full of wonderful holiday foods: even pie.  This year, The Sage School is partnering with Syringa Mountain School, Community School and Pioneer Montessori School to bake 400 homemade pies to accompany every Thanksgiving Basket.  This level of commitment is inspiring and deeply appreciated! Continue reading

Hunger Awareness Month 2015

THE HUNGER COALITION, LOCAL FOOD ALLIANCE AND
D.L. EVANS BANK PRESENT TO YOU…

a free screening of the hottest food-waste movie around…

WHAT: Just Eat It, A Food Waste Story
WHEN: Wednesday, October 28, 6-8pm
WHERE: Liberty Theater, Hailey
WHY: Because food is too important to be wasted…

Join us for drinks, appetizers from The Ram’s chef Hal Jardine, rescued banana bread,“Just Eat It” film screening, and a food rescue discussion. Continue reading