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Kathy Gardner

Kathy is the founding director of the statewide Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force.  The 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 to eliminate hunger and promote food security for all Idahoans.  Kathy has a background in program and policy development in areas of aging policy, refugee resettlement and currently works in food security program development with a variety of communities including rural, senior, tribal, Latino, and health care.  She has an undergraduate degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration and health policy.  Kathy is the recipient of the 2014 Raymond Wheeler/Paul Wellstone Award for Advocacy to End Hunger and Poverty in Idaho from the Food Research and Action Center, Washington DC.

Laura gross; payette valley food connction 

Laura gross; payette valley food connction 

Heidi hughes- Snap into action coordinator  

Heidi hughes- Snap into action coordinator  

Laura Gross

Born and raised in San Diego, California, I moved to Idaho in 2006 to downsize and re-align my life to better match my aspirations. Moving from a big city, I was very awed by the agricultural landscape and hard work of farming and food production. While my 2 children were finishing up school, I worked a steady job, but by the time my kids were almost through college, I grew tired of my 40 hours a week, desk job. So in February 2015, I quit my unfulfilling work in search of finding a job that better matched my skills, values and passion. I first enrolled in to college to learn accounting and then found an AmeriCorps VISTA positon, in my hometown of Payette, working on Food Security---BINGO! Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I am inspired by the opportunity to serve my community and challenged to stretch my skills. In 2017 I signed on for a second year so that I can see our local food guide and farmers’ market projects through to completion. When my service time ends, I plan on starting a bookkeeping business specializing in small farm accounting and will always be a local food advocate.

 

 

 

Heidi Hughes

In 2012 I was lucky to serve as an intern for the Idaho State Senate. Prior to this experience I had little idea what direction I wanted to take my life, but there I became aware of the need for innovative policy and community-based initiatives as a way to improving and maintaining my wonderful home of Idaho. As a result, I studied Communications with a focus in Public Advocacy and Social Science with an emphasis on Political Science at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. I hope to one day work full-time for a research organization or agency as a policy analyst, studying past, current, and future legislation in order to help improve the quality and effectiveness of state and local governments across the United States. As the "SNAP into Action" Coordinator at the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force I will be focusing on programs like Train the Trainer, an initiative started to help decrease stigma and boundaries associated with participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and working with local farmers markets to increase accessibility for SNAP users.

Amanda Gardner-VISTA LEAD

Amanda Gardner-VISTA LEAD

 

Katie Fry-SENIOR NUTRITION

Jake Miller-Legislation Liason

Jake Miller-Legislation Liason

Lizeth Arteaga- health advocate

Lizeth Arteaga- health advocate

Avery Lavoie-Screen and INtervene

Jesus Renteria-Latino Food security 

Jesus Renteria-Latino Food security 

Amanda Gardner

Once upon a time, I was born in Seattle and by 4th grade my family took me to the east coast where I have spent the last 20 years frolicking. I graduated from Shepherd University with a double major in Environmental Sustainability and Recreation & Tourism in my hometown of Shepherdstown, WV.  I prefer to spend as much of my time adventuring in and around the wilderness. I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy focusing on community development through outdoor education and ecotourism In Rangeley, Maine which has inspired me to hike the AT in 2020. Feeling nomadic and following my heart, my journey has brought me back to the North West to Boise, where my mother lived over 30 years ago. I am very blessed to be a part of this community and be working with such an amazing organization as the AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. I am very proud to be a part of the Force!

 

Katie Fry

I'm from Emmett, Idaho which is about 45 minutes from Boise where I am currently living. I work with Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force to promote senior nutrition. As part of program development with the Metro Meals on Wheels, I often deliver meals to home-bound seniors to understand the process and design outreach . Additional projects on which I work are Breakfast In the Classroom and IdahoGives. In my previous jobs, I was either working with seniors or children, so I've come to realize that I am very passionate about these two groups.  This position seemed to be a perfect fit for me considering I would be helping seniors and improving participation in school breakfast.  When I am not in the office you could probably find me hiking Camel's Back or getting lost in Cascade with my dog. An Interesting fact about me is I am a roller-skater so you might find me at Rhodes Skate Park as well. 

 

 

 

Jake Miller

My name is Jake Miller. I am 24 years old, and I am from Orem, Utah. I was raised in a large family of eight kids. I went to university in Orem at Utah Valley University. I have a degree in English Literature and Art History. I like to paint, run, hike, shop, go to museums, bake, and read/write. I am most passionate about education, and plan to be an English educator someday. I am a part of the IHRTF because I am passionate about service, and I believe that hunger is a huge problem in this country.

 

 

Lizeth Arteaga

I was always so blessed to have at least 3 meals a day growing up, even if it was chicken and rice. Knowing that there are families with children who were uncertain about their next meal is heartbreaking. I really wanted to be a part of a community who help others. I volunteered at my church every so often when they needed help with their food pantry. It is unbelievable to know that so many people around one's community do not have food to eat. My position at Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force is creating community food security. My biggest goal is to help families have necessary information and resources to make sure they have food on their plate. A "fun fact" about me is that I love to dance!

Avery Lavoie

I grew up in Vermont, and went to the University of Vermont for Psychology and Environmental Studies. After college I moved to Virginia to work for a National Wildlife Refuge. Since then I have moved several times for job opportunities in the environmental field, including one stint on a deserted island.  However, each job has lead me to the conclusion that there are many facets to how we interact with the environment, including food security. As humans, we have an innate connection to the natural world, and a responsibility to source local food in order to decrease dependency on fossil fuels and support our local economy. My job at the task force is to connect people to resources that can help eradicate food insecurity, and therefore increase self-sufficiency. I have a passion for local food, the natural environment, backpacking, birds and the people that make it such an amazing place. 

 

Jesus Renteria

I was born and raised here in good Ol’Idaho. I am 26 years young and still getting younger! I attend College of Western Idaho where I am pursing a Biology degree. I am very active; enjoy sports and the outdoors. I have the opportunity to be part of the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force. I am very passionate about this opportunity because I feel we all can take a stand and help make this world a better place.