A Movement Blooms – 2016
In 2016, we broke ground on Bloom Farm and hit the road with Bloom Truck. By 2017, Bloom Youth Project, Volunteer for Veggies, and a stronger Summer Food Program took flight. These programs complement our traditional food support programs to provide a more comprehensive solution to hunger in Blaine County.
Our dreams were being realized as a good food community was taking shape – one where everyone can access healthy food and everyone feels a part of the whole. By the end of 2017, more people than ever or 19% of Blaine County grew, ate, and shared good food through Hunger Coalition programs.
Hunger is still a monumental problem, but by addressing it with a multi-dimensional solution, we’re confident that this story will continue to evolve into a beautiful coming together of community and food.
Big Dreams Grow – 2012
Twelve years, three weekly food distributions, ten full-time staff members, and one million pounds of food later, we had only just begun. Though we were feeding more and more people, the root causes of hunger seemed to be getting deeper. This question led to a thorough investigation of food in Blaine County: The Community Food Assessment.
From the CFA we learned that while 17% of our community was accessing food from our food pantry, a staggering 35% of Blaine County was food insecure or one crisis away from it. The report revealed that stigma was the primary barrier preventing people from reaching out for food when they needed it most. At the same time, evidence was mounting that food banks alone won’t solve hunger.
To scrub the stigma from food assistance while addressing hunger upstream, we introduced Bloom Community Farm and Bloom Truck. So began two happy, healthy launch pads for stigma-free, community building programs.
Seeds Of Food Justice – 2003
In 2003, founder, Tom Iselin enlisted a scrappy, selfless team of volunteers to create a more concentrated solution to hunger in Blaine County.
For a few years, we collected and distributed food to families via community partners on a shoestring budget. Over time, we evolved into a choice-based food pantry headquartered in Bellevue that provides folks a dignified grocery experience.