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

February 2016 E-Newsletter

Brightest Stars Winner-3_johnWe are excited to share that The Hunger Coalition recently won Idaho’s Brightest Star award! It is thanks to our hard working staff, volunteers and generous community that we were chosen for this prestigious award. What an honor!

The Hunger Coalition - photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition – photo by Dev Khalsa

  Last month was our busiest January ever–22% higher than last January and more than DOUBLE from three years ago. Sadly, our busiest time of year is not even upon us yet.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, please consider purchasing a Stop Hunger card at the checkout stands of Atkinsons’ Markets ExecsummaryCoveror contributing to one of our yellow bins at Albertsons or Atkinsons’ Markets.

Are you interested in the Community Food Assessment’s findings of our local food system? Want to find out what community partners are doing moving forward, and what you can do too? Check out the Blaine County Food Assessment Executive Summary report here.

To read the entire February newsletter click here, or better yet, sign up to receive the monthly newsletter here.  

The Hunger Coalition Receives $20,000 Grant from Howard Family Foundation

Food Bank 2014_029The Hunger Coalition recently received a $20,000 grant from the Gordon R. and Mary M. Howard Family Foundation to support its mission of providing food to struggling community members.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Howard Family Foundation has provided grant funding to The Hunger Coalition. Kathleen Phelan Britt recommended the donation through her family foundation. The grant will assist The Hunger Coalition’s food programs, including: the Mobile Food Bank, Snack Pack Program, The Hope Garden, Summer Food Program and the Infant Formula Initiative.

“We are deeply honored to have the continuous, generous support of the Howard Family Foundation,” said Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition. “Their gift will go a long way toward ensuring local families have nutritious food on their tables.”

The Hunger Coalition holds three weekly food distributions in Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue. Additional programs address healthy cooking, nutrition education and assisting children in need. “We served 3,543 people in 2014, and over half of them are children,” said Liston. “We are committed to ensuring no one goes hungry in our community.”

September 2015 E-Newsletter

I’m thrilled to write tjliston 8-14his letter of thanks after an amazing
3-month sabbatical. Thank you to the Board and incredible ladies I work with, who covered for me and made it possible for me to take this important time off. Hats off especially to Naomi Spence, Associate Director, for taking the reigns, not shirking from responsibility, and handling things with ease during my absence. Thank you also to the community members and volunteers who stepped up this summer, assisting with our volunteer needs for our growing summer programs.

The Hunger Coalition is so much more than just a food bank and WOULD NOT exist without the support of our volunteers, partners and donors. Period.

Thank you for caring about ALL the people in our valley–it’s what makes us a community!

To read the entire newsletter, click here.

The Hunger Season is Upon Us

The Hunger Coalition - photo by Dev Khalsa

The Hunger Coalition – photo by Dev Khalsa

When February arrives, The Hunger Coalition braces. Last March, The Hunger Coalition saw 576 locals come through their lines at the Mobile Food Bank—a record high—compared to their last high of 481 people in March of 2011. Many reasons were thrown around for the large uptick in numbers—lack of snow being the biggest. This year, thankfully, the snow fell hard in December, but The Hunger Coalition is still bracing.


February also starts the beginning of the “Hunger Season”, when need is at its highest and food donations plummet dramatically. Warehouse shelves become bare and thousands of locals have a tough time putting healthy food on the table. “Early spring has typically been a very busy time for us in the past few years,” said Naomi Spence, associate director of the Hunger Coalition. “Many seasonal jobs depend on snow, and when we experience a dry period like this, those workers are hit hard with smaller paychecks and sudden layoffs,” said Spence. Continue reading