Our strategic goals keep us driven, honest, and acutely aware of our impact. Led by our values, The Hunger Coalition will work to fulfill our vision responsibly through the credo below and ultimately improve the well-being of more families than ever.
Vision: The Hunger Coalition envisions a community where everyone has access to good food regardless of economic circumstances, where human connections grow, and all are empowered to speak up and be heard.
In pursuit of this vision, The Hunger Coalition is undertaking a bold initiative to radically improve food access in Blaine County and double the number of people we serve. There are over 4,000 people who used our programs last year and even before the COVID-19 emergency hit town, reports indicated there are twice as many locals who are either food insecure or one crisis away. Following the outbreak, more families sought emergency food in one month than had all of last year through our food pantry. The pandemic broke those who were holding on by a thread and exposed our vulnerability as a community.
Bloom Community Food Center will provide good food for families struggling to afford groceries while addressing the root causes of hunger to build a stronger foundation.
Food Costs — a next-gen food pantry will help offset the high cost of food in Blaine County. As calculated by Feeding America, our community now has the fifth highest grocery costs in the nation*. Bloom Community Food Center will be a supplemental food source so people faced with food scarcity can still afford to live and work in Blaine County.
*as of May 2020
Health — Because people who experience food insecurity are disproportionately affected by diet-related illness, isolation, and can be financially ruined by medical crisis, Bloom Community Food Center will continue to partner with St. Luke’s to provide stronger solutions for access to healthy food and the skills needed to maintain a healthier diet.
Advocacy — Bloom Community Food Center will provide the space to take on advocacy and community-building work to address the root causes of hunger. Our team will collaborate with participants, policymakers, and grassroots organizations and individuals to address the reasons people experience hunger to begin with. This could involve organizing activities on issues related to healthcare, housing, cost of living, racial justice, food systems, transportation, civic engagement, and equity.
Stigma — Studies suggest that stigma is a major barrier preventing The Hunger Coalition from reaching the 38% of local people who need our support. Bloom Community Food Center will shake up the traditional food assistance model and be a place of pride for people struggling to afford good food. We strive to double the number of people we serve, in part by reducing stigma.
Responsible Infrastructure — After months of research involving focus groups with our participants, a feasibility study with donors and community leaders, and due diligence on the property, we purchased an older existing building on four acres of land across the street from our current headquarters. The renovation began May 1, 2020 with a goal to open in early 2021. Our plan is to create a modest, welcoming space. Of our $10 million campaign goal, 60% is dedicated to capital, 20% is focused on supporting increased operations, and the remaining 20% on providing endowment funds for long-term sustainability.
Financial Stewardship — To be entrusted with the investment of our community is a privilege and we take this responsibility to heart. For the last 10 years, an average of 85 cents of every dollar donated has been spent on direct service programs. As our capacity to serve the community has grown, overhead costs have stayed at around 15% of our annual budget. This performance complies with the recommendations of nonprofit watchdog organizations like GuideStar and Charity Navigator, both of whom have given us the highest ratings possible.
Program Innovation — We are strategically piloting programs to understand what will best work for participants and are prepared to adapt our model based on the response. Every new and existing program is reviewed to identify where we can include the resources and expertise of our partner organizations. With over 50 community partners currently, we excel at leveraging the strengths of groups and organizations who complement our mission to provide more opportunities for our target population.