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.
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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.