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Partner Conferences – Building Healthy Communities

Last month, The Idaho Foodbank hosted Partner Conferences in Lewiston and Idaho Falls for our food distribution partners in those regions. Over 140 people attended and the theme of these conferences was “Building Healthy Communities Together.” Held for the last several years, the partner conferences are a way to convene the individuals who are working in their own communities to address food insecurity. One way that we can help build healthy communities is by bringing people together to meet with and learn from their peers working to alleviate food insecurity

Each conference included an update from The Idaho Foodbank about our work statewide and in those particular regions, as well as a question and answer session. There were also presentations from representatives of the United Way about the Idaho ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report. This is a comprehensive look at the cost of living challenges throughout the state. This is valuable information and context to have as we work to provide food to those in need and to end that cycle of food insecurity.

The Partner Conferences also included discussion or presentations about taking a comprehensive approach to community health and what that might look like. This can include broadening health care partnerships by bringing mobile medical units to a food distribution; working with community health workers and providing information about other available services to individuals in need of food; or setting-up a food pantry in a way that encourages healthy eating choices. None of these are easy to implement, so the Partner Conferences were an opportunity to discuss what is possible and ask questions about how to make some of these changes to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Thank you to all of our conference presenters and our partners who were able to attend. We look forward to continuing to learn together!