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

Food for Fines at The Hailey Public Library

 

The Hailey Public Lifoodforfinesbrary announces its first ever “Food for Fines” food drive for The Hunger Coalition. Now through February 29, library patrons with overdue fines can exchange non-perishable or canned goods for overdue fines to help local families in need.

One can of food is equal to $1.00 in fines.

“Food for Fines is a great way to remove any overdue fines on our patrons’ accounts, but more importantly, the initiative turns what could be a negative – overdue fines and limited access to our library, into a positive: helping others. It’s a win-win,” said LeAnn Gelskey, Director of the Hailey Public Library. Continue reading

August 2015 E-Newsletter

eduardo

Our star volunteer, Eduardo, serves up free sack lunches to kids at Lunch in the Park in Hailey every day 11-noon through August 21, 2015.

Summer is in full swing and along with it is the Summer Food Program  Thank you to the Blaine County School District for partnering with us for this important program. We’ve served an average of 37% more lunches at Lunch in the Park this year compared to last year!

The Hope Garden is in full bloom with carrots, onions, cucumbers, peas, squash, peppers, beets, and cabbage harvesting this week! We hope you will join us in the garden for our annual APPRECIATION PARTY for all our wonderful volunteers and donors who help keep this place running smoothly! Save the date for September 9 from 5:30-7 pm at The Hope Garden. 

There are so many ways to make a difference this month. Read on to learn more and thank you to our wonderful community for your incredible generosity and our strong partnerships with other agencies!

Click here to read the entire newsletter.

The Hunger Coalition Nominated for Idaho Nonprofit Center Excellence Award.

awardThe Hunger Coalition is excited to be among 100 organizations across Idaho to have been nominated for the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Excellence Award.

“It is an honor to be nominated for an excellence award—and we will continue to strive to provide wholesome food, and hope, to the increasing number of children and families in need in our community,” said Naomi Spence, Associate Director of The Hunger Coalition.

“We know that nonprofits make a difference in communities across Idaho every day and these awards recognize the contribution of the nonprofit sector.” said Janice Fulkerson, Executive Director of the Idaho Nonprofit Center, which organizes the awards each year. “We continue to be impressed with the many moving stories in the 2015 nominations and are extremely proud of the nonprofits and their contributions to the quality of life in Idaho.”

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The Hunger Coalition - photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition – photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition is privileged to be one of the organizations nominated in the statewide program.  Six (6) organizations will be recognized at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards Dinner on September 23rd during the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s annual conference.

Outreach Volunteers Needed!

surveyThe Blaine County Community Food Assessment is in need of volunteers to help canvass neighborhoods to distribute an important food questionnaire.

If you like talking to people from all walks of life and like being active and on the move, help the Community Food Assessment reach people that may need help.

Canvassing is from August 3- August 15, and shifts are as little as one day a week for two hours – English and Spanish speakers are needed. Call Rachel at 208-788-0121 or email rshinn@thehungercoalition.org for more information.