Coming Full Circle

Idaho Foodbank Backpack Build
Sgt. Eli Morgan

The Idaho Foodbank partnered with the Idaho National Guard in April to build special food boxes destined for Idaho kids in need. Normally these youngsters would receive a special package of food every Friday as part of the Backpack Program. Due to school closures these kiddos were now cut off from this service which provides nutritious meals over the weekend to hungry students.

Thanks to the aid of the Idaho National Guard, this program was executed and supersized. Over 1300 boxes containing 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners and 10 snacks were packaged by soldiers for immediate delivery to kids throughout the Southwest region of Idaho. And for one solider this experience was particularly meaningful.

Sgt. Eli Morgan is a 5 year veteran of the Idaho National Guard. In his daily life, he is a plumber for Rocky Mountain Mechanical. This means during the COVID-19 crisis he is deemed an essential worker in both his civilian and military worlds. And the particular work he completed for The Idaho Foodbank went beyond the essential.

As a boy growing up in Idaho, the sergeant was like the 1 in 6 kids who are currently experiencing food insecurity in our state. However, at the time, he did not know it. “As a kid I would go with my Mom to a food pantry. I love food and every time we went to the pantry we would get a whole big box with all kinds of items,” said Morgan. “I thought it was a really cool thing that people gave out food. I guess everything is magical when you are a kid.”

Morgan got to pass on some of that magic as he boxed up items for hungry students. “When I was young I did not know I was food insecure, but I do now and I try not to take it for granted,” said Morgan. When asked about his temporary deployment to The Idaho Foodbank Morgan described the experience as eye-opening. “I got to peak behind the curtain and see how The Idaho Foodbank operates,” said Morgan. “It is awesome to see how much is given and how much people care about the fight for hunger in Idaho.”