Helping Works

$90,000 windfall for the Idaho Foodbank

A quarter million of Idaho’s residents are “food insecure,” or don’t know where their next meal will come from. Idaho Foodbank offers a selection of programs to help remedy the situation.
A quarter million of Idaho’s residents are “food insecure,” or don’t know where their next meal will come from. Idaho Foodbank offers a selection of programs to help remedy the situation. Statesman file

The Walmart Foundation has given the Idaho Foodbank a grant for $90,000. The grant will help pay for several projects at the foodbank, including its Backpack program, School Pantry, Picnic in the Park and Cooking Matters.

“This grant from the Walmart Foundation will make a tremendous difference for Idahoans dealing with food insecurity,” said Karen Vauk, Idaho Foodbank CEO.

The foodbank now serves more than 160,000 Idahoans each month through its various programs. Recent data from Feeding America, a national hunger organization, says more than 250,000 Idahoans are “food insecure,” meaning they don’t know where their next meal will com from. That number includes more than 20 percent of all the children in Idaho.

Part of the inspiration for the grant was serving those Idaho kids in need, said Tory Nichols, Walmart market manager.

“We are proud to support the work of the Idaho Foodbank and join with them in the fight against hunger,” said Nichols.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the foodbank programs that will benefit:

Backpack program: provides food insecure children with a backpack filled with non-perishable foods to help students get through weekends when school is out. The packs include two breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.

School Pantry program: operates food pantries at schools to offer families access to staples such as meat, rice, beans and fresh produce.

Picnic in the Park: provides free, healthy lunches each weekday during the summer in parks and other locations near schools where lots of children receive free and reduced lunches.

Cooking Matters: teaches participants how to buy and prepare healthy meals on a limited budget. Volunteer chefs and nutritionists teach this six-week program.

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