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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Penny Mazolla



With the numerous volunteer opportunities in the Valley, tell us why you choose to volunteer for The Hunger Coalition? Why is The Hunger Coalition important to you?
“I had been suffering from volunteer “burn-out” for a few years when I saw the film “A Place at the Table”,  sponsored by The Hunger Coalition. I knew immediately that I had found a place where I could be involved at a “hands on” level and not necessarily be involved in meetings and fundraising.”

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July 2014

E-Newsletter Highlights

Even though summer is in full swing and our towns are bustling with people, that doesn’t mean that some residents aren’t still struggling. We served 40% more people at our Mobile Food Bank in June than the same time last year. And we’ve fed three times the number of children in our Backpack and Snack Attack programs this year.

We are also thrilled to announce a successful launch to our newest children’s food program called LUNCH IN THE PARK. Monday through Friday, all summer long we provide sack lunches to children at the play field next to Balmoral apartments.This is a central location for all the low income housing units in Woodside and a safe place for children to share lunch together with friends.

In the first three weeks, we have served more than 500 lunches to children who might face hunger otherwise. We thank the wonderful volunteers and supporters who allow this phenomenal program to happen! Read the full July 2014 newsletter here!

June 2014

eNewsletter Highlights

IMG_0630School’s out for the summer! Check out this month’s newsletter for more information on our new, expanded Summer Food Program, ensuring our valley’s children stay fed and healthy while away from the safety net of school breakfasts and lunches.

In the past six months, we’ve seen a 55% increase in families in need over the same period last year.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to meet this surprising change in demand for our services.  Read more in the June eNewsletter about the face of need in our valley and how your support has made a real, tangible impact on local families. Thank you!

May 2014

enewsletter Highlights

Hailey MFB volunteers 2014

Thank you to everyone who helped us raise nearly $3,000 on May 1st for Idaho Gives!  Every dollar raised will go toward feeding children this summer.  In this month’s issue, learn about the ways our community is stepping up to ensure we can meet the startling increase in need. One of the most critical ways you can help is by becoming a volunteer!

Click here to read this month’s newsletter!

September 2012

September 2012 Newsletter Highlights

Our Backpack Club is seeking volunteers.  We are looking for volunteers for two delivery routes.  Contact Naomi at nspence@thehungercoalition.org or call 788-0121. More than 40% of students attending a Blaine County school qualify for free and reduced school meals.  To help keep them fed on the weekends, we instituted the Backpack Club.  For more information on this important program, click here. Continue reading