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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.

Megan Wilson-SNap into action coordinator

Megan Wilson-SNap into action coordinator

Benjamin Rodriguez

Benjamin Rodriguez

Megan Wilson

My passion is in public service; I have been referred to as a “do-gooder.” I like that IHRTF focusses on policy and program development.  As a Master of Public Administration student and aspiring policy analyst, I appreciate Kathy’s frequent expression, “government solutions to societal issues.” My sisters and I were first-generation college students.  Growing up, they reminded me to always designate Hispanic as our demographic information on our standardized tests to show that we are smart and capable even though many others perceive Mexican-Americans as the contrary.  Any job I have had has had some underlying message of helping the underdog up. As the SNAP into Action Coordinator, I am responsible for updating the Train the Trainer program which educates a wide variety of audiences about the Idaho Food Stamp Program.   

 

Benjamin Rodriguez

I was inspired to to work for the IHRTF because of the fact that it was a position where I could give back to my community. I have held jobs in the past that have impacted where I am now. I have worked in the fields since I was about 13, up until I was a senior in high school. That taught me about hard work, and that that it is not what I wanted to do my entire life. My goals are to continue to help where I can, to make my community a better place. As far as passions- I enjoy working on my truck, and being outside working with my horse. 

Amanda Gardner-VISTA LEAD

Amanda Gardner-VISTA LEAD

 

Katie Fry-SENIOR NUTRITION

Brandon Whitten-Social Work Screen and INtervene Intern

Brandon Whitten-Social Work Screen and INtervene Intern

Jake Miller-Legislation Liason

Jake Miller-Legislation Liason

Avery Lavoie-Screen and INtervene

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. 

 

 

 

Brandon Whitten
Just call me Brandon. I was born and raised just south of Portland Oregon, but have lived in Idaho for the past 16 years, excluding 2 years where I lived in Brazil. I have been married for the past 6 years to the perfect woman, Ashley, and have 3 amazing kids. Collette Branley a 4 year old girl, Emmett Hal, a 2 year old boy, and Lilianna Carol a 4 month old girl. I am enrolled in my last semester for my Bachelor of Social Work, and work full time at Saint Alphonsus as a transporter. 

 

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.

 

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.