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

Empty Bowls 2016

Empty Bowls 2016! Thank you to everyone who helped make this event happen!

EVENT PHOTOS by Lyndsey Mason.

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Hunger is a community wide challenge affecting more people than you might
even in a wealthy community like ours. To help raise awareness and funds to combat hunger locally, Boulder Mountain Clayworks, The Hunger Coalition and the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood are hosting the 6th Annual Empty Bowls event on Sunday, January 17 from 12 noon – 2 pm at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood.

Empty Bowls is sponsored by Boulder Mountain Clayworks!

Empty Bowls takes place in the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood’s cafeteria and features gourmet soups, crisp salads, hearty chili, fresh breads and delicious desserts from local restaurants and caterers including: Atkinsons’ Markets, Bigwood Bread,  Big Belly Deli, Cornerstone Bar and Grill,  CK’s Real FoodEnoteca, il NasoKetchum GrillKnob Hill Inn,  Mahoney’sOak St. Foods, Perry’sStarbucksSun Valley CompanyThe HavenVintage Restaurant and many more.

During this unique community event, attendees purchase a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl for $20, then fill the bowl with delicious soups, salads, chili, bread and dessert—all donated by local chefs and caterers. Thanks to Boulder Mountain Clayworks, there will be more than 300 hand-crafted and hand-painted bowls from professional and amateur artisans to select from this year.

Winter months can be especially difficult for families struggling to make ends meet, as higher heating bills put additional pressure on household budgets. “Empty Bowls is a great way to show support for community members in need,” said Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of The Hunger Coalition. “Local residents of all ages have an opportunity to share a delicious communal meal, receive a beautiful bowl, and help fight hunger in the Wood River Valley.”

Proceeds will benefit the thousands of Blaine County residents who receive food assistance and related support from The Hunger Coalition every year. For the cost of one bowl, The Hunger Coalition can provide more than a day’s worth of healthy, nourishing meals for a family of three.

IMG_050_lowBring your family and friends to Empty Bowls and enjoy a truly memorable and meaningful meal. Together, we can ensure that everyone in the community has enough healthy food to eat throughout the year.

The Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood is located at 100 Saddle Road, across from the YMCA in Ketchum. All are welcome. Admission price is the purchase of a $20 bowl. For more information, contact The Hunger Coalition at (208) 788-0121.

Hunger Awareness Month 2015


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

Food Rescue Project Underway!

The Hunger thc_food resuceCoalition needs help picking excess fruit in August. 

The Hunger Coalition needs volunteers to gather the excess fruit from trees and orchards from Ketchum to Bellevue this August.

With one third of all food worldwide wasted, The Hunger Coalition is ready to do their part.  “There are great strides being taken to reduce food waste in the valley, and our Food Rescue program is a huge part of it,” said Naomi Spence, Associate Director at The Hunger Coalition.

“Many generous locals are offering their excess fruit to us, because they can’t keep up with the volume,” said Rachel Shinn, Volunteer Manager at The Hunger Coalition. “We need help gathering it, for our three weekly food distributions to locals in need, before it goes to waste,” added Rachel. Please contact Rachel Shinn at the Hunger Coalition at 208-788-0121 for more information.

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 or call 788-0121. 

August 2015 E-Newsletter


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.”


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 for more information.

Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Association Silent Auction!

Marshall Bennett, Arlene Bennett, Paulette Phlipot

Local photographer, Paulette Phlipot (center) poses with Marshall and Arlene Bennett at Lipton Fine Arts Gallery Walk, July 10, 2015.

Local photographer, Paulette Phlipot launched a special show this month at Lipton Fine Arts Gallery with all proceeds benefiting The Hunger Coalition!

The back room of Lipton Fine Arts is set up for a silent auction with Paulette’s photos of the people and food of the Sun Valley Restaurant Association. The silent auction runs through July 31.

With about 15 restaurants participating, the highest bidder will receive all three signed photos of the restaurants and donated gift certificates from the restaurants.

The event was kicked off on Friday, July 10 Gallery Walk. HUGE thank you to Lipton Fine Arts, each and every restaurant participating and especially to the talented, generous and beautiful on the inside and out – Paulette Phlipot!

The front room of Lipton Fine Arts is showing food photographs from “Ripe, A Fresh Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables” a cookbook Phlipot co-created and photographed, and a large collection of photographs of food grown and produced in Idaho.

Lipton Fine Arts Gallery is located next to the Coffee Grinder at 411 N. Leadville Ave. Ste. 3 in Ketchum.

Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. showLipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. showLipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. showLipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show

Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. showLipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show
Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show

Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. showLipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show
Lipton Fine Art Gallery - Paulette Phlipot SV Restaurant Assn. show

Volunteer Spotlight: Lorie Hayes


  • Senior Prom 2015How or why did you first become a Volunteer for The Hunger Coalition?

My church needed a contact for the food drive and I volunteered.  I had been thinking about volunteering for The Hunger Coalition for a long time and this provided a great opportunity to take action.

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 love to swim and hike and in the summer, I love planting flowers.  I am also a volunteer for the Girl Scouts of the Silver Sage Council.  My daughter is a girl scout and I help with her troop.  I also volunteer at my church.  I knew The Hunger Coalition provided food to people who needed it but what I didn’t know is that you also provide educational opportunities; cooking classes and nutritional education.  I think that is so amazing.

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

What a blessing The Hunger Coalition is to so many families in this valley.  I had someone ask if I felt The Hunger Coalition was really necessary and what about those who take advantage of the free food.  For me, it is about the many families with children that need a meal and are provided one.  I can’t imagine having to tell my children I couldn’t feed them.  You provide such a great comfort to those in need.  I can tell the people who work at The Hunger Coalition care about what they are doing and I think it is so wonderful.
Can you share a particular memory or favorite experience you have had while working here?

I keep running into people I know who are volunteering at The Hunger Coalition.  It is so fun because you never know who you are going to see there!

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

I am a Grocery Recovery Volunteer and I deliver Snack Packs to Hemingway Elementary during the school year.  I enjoy the staff at Hemingway because my son went to school there.  It is fun to catch up with them each week.  The guys at Main Street Market are a great bunch and always make me welcome.  I am so proud of the businesses donating food that would otherwise be thrown away.  It is another great thing about the Wood River Valley.

Local Food Survey in the Mail

The Hunger CoalitionThe Hunger Coalition, along with the help of two AmeriCorps Vistas and a diverse group of Community Food Assessment team members is conducting a local food survey.

The survey will be distributed in the mail to a random sample of Blaine County residents. The survey will touch on questions about how the community values its food, the importance of where and how our food is produced, and it will help The Hunger Coalition better understand how people cope with economic stress, and how those strategies impact their food choices within the county. Surveys will arrive in mailboxes at the end of June.

Don’t worry if you don’t receive a survey in the mail. The Hunger Coalition will be distributing surveys online, throughout neighborhoods and at community locations throughout the county this summer. Dot surveys on local food will also be set up. “These dot surveys are a fun, interactive way for the community to share their thoughts on local food,” said Emily Slike, Vista Outreach Coordinator.

“There has never been a survey like this in our area,” said Brooke McKenna, Director of Operations at The Hunger Coalition. “This survey could help provide data to develop new policy and programs regarding local food and food security,” added McKenna. “If you are one of the lucky ones to get a survey mailed to your household, please fill it out and share your opinions—this is one of those rare times where your responses will be used directly to shape the future of the food system in Blaine County,” said McKenna.

If you are interested in helping out with distributing surveys through door to door or community tables, helping conduct dot surveys, or are interested in other volunteer opportunities contact Emily at 208-721-4884 or

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