The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force works with the governor’s office every October to present a proclamation declaring Hunger Awareness Month to an organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Idaho. This year they chose the partner network of The Idaho Foodbank.
In order to honor the entire network of 465 organizations, the task force secured three proclamations so that different areas of the state could be recognized. This allowed the opportunity to highlight the exceptional work of an individual partner along with the collective outreach of the whole network to provide hunger relief across the state.
“The three organizations chosen to receive this special honor are representative of the hundreds of dedicated partners that comprise our statewide network. Their unconditional compassion and commitment to their community is inspiring,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. “They stood strong during a global pandemic and beyond. Their doors remained open and services continued statewide. All of our partners demonstrate on a daily basis the courage to make a difference,” praised Vauk.
The Hunger Coalition of Blaine County was at the epicenter of the crisis when the pandemic first hit Idaho. The organization has provided over half a million pounds of food in just nine months, compared to their pre-pandemic average of 230,000 pounds per year. Commissioner Jacob Greenberg presented the Governor’s Proclamation on October 21, 2020 to Jeanne Liston, executive director of The Hunger Coalition. “We are humbled by the proclamation, which couldn’t come at a more important time. The local hunger crisis has more than doubled since COVID-19 hit home and it has taken a heroic community effort to answer the need,” said Liston. “Thank you to The Idaho Foodbank, Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force and Commissioner Greenberg for helping shed light on this issue that hits home for thousands of Blaine County locals.”
The Giving Cupboard has been serving food insecure families in Jefferson County since 2018. In 2020, they added the “Pay It Forward” program that provides non-food items i.e. personal hygiene items, paper products, cleaning supplies and diapers for our clients. In response to COVID-19 they are currently running a drive through style pantry. With the aid of their dedicated volunteers they have not missed a single distribution. Prior to COVID-19, they were serving 55 to 65 families weekly, that number is now exceeding 100 families per week. They are providing food for 2,000 plus Idahoans each month, through the drive-through pantry and the mobile pantry, which was recently launched in September 2020. Naomi Schilling, director of The Giving Panty in Rigby, Idaho says, “We are honored to receive the Proclamation on behalf of Eastern Idaho pantries and we appreciate the support of Governor Little as pantries across the state are working tirelessly to feed hunger Idahoans.”
The J-K Good Samaritan Food Bank located in the northern end of Idaho in Latah County was extremely honored to receive the Governor’s Proclamation on October 23, 2020. The organization humbly recognized The Idaho Foodbank and thanked the members of the Juliaetta-Kendrick community for all their support. The proclamation was presented by Juliaetta Mayor Richard Groseclose and received by Larry Haylett, Director of J-K Good Samaritan Food Bank.
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