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Food Banking

How does food banking work?

The Idaho Foodbank, established in 1984, is an independent nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization with warehouses in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello. It is the largest hunger relief organization and the largest distributor of free food assistance in Idaho.

It All Starts with Donations

Your gift is the critical first step in feeding millions of people in America at risk of hunger. Whether it’s money, food or time that you’re donating, it wouldn’t be possible without your contribution.

Building Partnerships

We build partnerships with Growers, Processors, Retailers, Manufacturers, Wholesalers and encourage them to donate groceries that might otherwise go to waste.

Our partners include food pantries, senior centers, rescue missions, community kitchens and other feeding programs.

Utilizing & Distributing through Our Network

Then, Network food banks ensure safe storage and distribute the groceries to local charities. Our network moves the food, making sure donated food and groceries go where they are needed most.

Food distribution is made possible by generous donors, thousands of volunteers and a network of more than 465 partners that receive food from the Foodbank’s warehouses and distribute it directly to people in need.

Food Reaches the People experiencing Hunger

Last but most importantly, food becomes available to people through food pantries, soup riches, senior centers, homeless shelters, youth programs and after school programs.

The Idaho Foodbank Programs


The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack program ensures that students who are chronically hungry have access to adequate food over the weekend by providing them with a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly food every Friday during the school year.

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School Pantry

The School Pantry program provides families with food through a pantry set up inside the school where access would be convenient for students and family alike.

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Mobile Pantry

The Mobile Pantry Program distributes dry and frozen food to underserved, usually rural, communities. This program helps populations that do not have access to, or have difficulty accessing, food assistance.

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Senior Nutrition

Improving the health and wellbeing of seniors at least 60 years of age through nutritious food.

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Cooking Education

Programs for all ages that teach healthy food selection, prep and budgeting to make lasting changes.

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In Partnership with Feeding America

Working in partnership with Feeding America – the national network of more than 200 food banks – and with the national, regional and local food industry, The Idaho Foodbank’s mission is to help feed, educate and advocate for Idaho’s hungry through collaborative partnerships to develop efficient solutions that strengthen individuals, families and communities.

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