Idaho Hunger Task Force: Making a place at the table for all Idahoans

About Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force

The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force envisions that in a state as abundant as Idaho hunger will not exist and works to put public and private resources into action statewide in order to eliminate hunger and provide food security for all Idahoans.



Farmers Market Week: Connecting Food Systems


BOISE, Idaho – This week marks National Farmers Market Week in Idaho, as proclaimed by Governor Butch Otter.

One goal of the week is to highlight the role markets play in local economies by keeping money in communities and strengthening local food systems.

Ariel Agenbroad with University of Idaho Extension says markets can be found in towns of all sizes, and there are even market food trucks to help get fresh, healthy food to those who can't attend, or afford, a regular market.

"The mobile market is either being brought to a place where there's a summer feeding program, or there's a food pantry or farmers market," she says. "Then looking at the times and dates that might be more convenient to working families."

There's also been a push to get markets to accept EBT cards, and many already do.

Denise Dixon, director of the Homedale Farmers Market, says the event establishes links between farmers and consumers, and between neighbors.

"We have a lot of people that come to buy their produce, but then they stick around and they talk and they laugh, and it's really become a wonderful community event," she says.

Agenbroad suggests scheduling a market visit when vacationing around the state.

"There are so many of these very grassroots, community-based, tiny markets all around the state, and they all deserve to be visited to support those local producers," she says. "Those are some of the best places to go during the summer."

A proclamation will be read in Boise today for Farmers Market Awareness Week, at a mobile market stop in a low-income neighborhood.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID

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Summer Sunshine Award Winners!

FNS staff participating in a Summer Food Service Program Kick-off event

On June 13, 2013, FNS staff participated in a Summer Food Service Program Kick-off event in Sacramento, CA.

It may be the middle of winter, but at USDA, we like to celebrate the success of our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) all year long.  Therefore, the Western Regional Office is thrilled to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2014 Summer Sunshine Awards.  A total of eight organizations across the region received Sunshine Awards in 4 unique categories in recognition of their standout efforts in operating the SFSP.  The programs impact in local communities depends on the hard work of state agencies, partnering organizations, local sites and sponsors.  These awards only begin to show our appreciation for the dedication, innovation, and passion behind the respective organizations.

In the category of Strategies to Promote Nutrition and Wellness, California’s Riverside Unified School District was awarded the honor for employing innovative strategies by collaborating with local partners to provide nutrition education and physical activities at summer meal sites. The Boys and Girls Club of Ada County in Idaho was also awarded the distinction for their incorporation of fresh local produce into summer meals and offering opportunities for physical activity to children at their summer meal sites.

Two deserving winners of the Reaching Rural and Underserved Communities award emphasize the importance of thinking outside the box to provide nutrition to more children in the summer time.  Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission of California expanded their summer meals program to seven rural communities by partnering with USDA’s Rural Development.  In Washington, Entiat Valley Community Services Food Bank was awarded the distinction for their innovative approach to opening sites in areas of high need, conducting massive media campaigns, and networking with various community partners to ensure meals were delivered to sites in rural areas.

In the category of Successful Community Partnerships, the Des Moines Area Food Bank of Washington was chosen as a recipient for their successful community partnerships resulting in a variety of physical activity and nutrition education workshops at summer meal sites.  An Above and Beyond Honorable Mention was awarded to Auburn Unified School District for expanding community partnerships and providing physical activity and nutrition education classes every day of the week at summer meal sites.

For Program Expansion in Local Communities, the award recipient was the Boys and Girls Club of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, for their efforts in expanding summer meal sites in the community by collaborating with local partners to make meals available for the children of Sequim and Port Angeles.  Nye County Unified School District of Nevada received an honorable mention for their innovative mobile feeding program using the school “mail” van to deliver meals and traveled with a local “book mobile” to increase summer reading and engage children while eating.

Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions and a huge thank you from all of us at FNS for the delicious meals and engaging programs you provide to children during the summer months.  We look forward to more successes and best practices from each and every Summer Sunshine awardee during summer 2015!


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The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of our work by the Food Research and Action Center, Mazon and Share our Strength.

            No Kid Hungry









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