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.

 Heidi hughes- Snap into action coordinator  

Heidi hughes- Snap into action coordinator  

Heidi Hughes - AmeriCorps VISTA

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.

 Lizeth Arteaga- health advocate

Lizeth Arteaga- health advocate

 Mackenzie Moss-BSU Intern for Screen and intervene

Mackenzie Moss-BSU Intern for Screen and intervene

Dawn Day Profile VISTA.jpg


Lizeth Arteaga - AmeriCorps VISTA

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!




Mackenzie Moss

My name is Mackenzie Moss and I am the Boise State University social work student intern working with the Screen and Intervene program. I am a senior in the Bachelor program at Boise State this year. I have plans to get my MSW next year, and then move on to law school. Eventually I hope to be an immigration attorney. I have a passion for working with people, and would love to use my education and learned skill set to help others. I love working at the Task Force!






Carolann Tracy - AmeriCorps VISTA

Here is the story of how my dream job fell into my lap. I grew up in a very rural area of Eastern Oregon on a cattle operation. I spent a great majority of my time in the Treasure Valley area as I completed several certifications and a transfer degree at TVCC. While in Ontario, I got hired as a work study at the South East Oregon Regional Food Bank in the warehouse. I saw first-hand how much good could be done in a community just by helping provide food resources. I was hooked. After leaving the Ontario area to complete my BA in Ag Science, Communication & Leadership, I took a Cooking Matters class for young moms and a lot of consumer sciences classes in the hopes of learning ways to help out other parents that were struggling with food security as I was. As I finished up my degree the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Payette came available. This position allows me to help provide food resources to the public, encourage local food producers, and help organize the Farmers Market. Since food security and promoting Agriculture are two of my main goals in life this role at Payette Valley Food Connection could not be more perfect.




Kurstin Marriott - AmeriCorps VISTA Lead

Kurstin is originally from Astoria Oregon but now calls Idaho her “Idahome.” She served her first term as an AmeriCorps VISTA as a Communications Coordinator for a small statewide nonprofit. She now continues onto her second year of service as the VISTA Lead for the Task Force. She is currently in her senior year working towards her degree in Communications and Media Studies. She is passionate about social justice and working with underrepresented communities. In her spare time, she volunteers in her community and enjoys spending time with her family and reading.



Dawn Day Woman Manning - AmeriCorps VISTA

Pisha Tabino! (Good Day)How mani wahn ipuah? How are you doing my friends? Neh Nanyeda  (My name is) Dawn Day Woman Manning, eh pisha nemma (it makes me feel good to introduce myself to you in my Paiute language & and the universal language of English. I am a citizen of Shoshone-Paiute Nation, my homelands straddle the Northern Nevada/Southern Idaho border on the Duck Valley Reservation. I am also Chippewa-Cree from Rocky Boy, Montana, and Tobacco Clan Hopi from Second Mesa, Arizona. Despite having lineages from the Northern Montana/Canada border all the way down to the southern deserts of this continent, I was born and raised on my reservation and aside from relocating throughout the states for college, I have lived here all my life. I will go back to the earth here also, as my ancestors are in the soil I live upon. Lovely thought yes, but I am in no hurry. I hope I get to participate in this life long enough to hold my great grandchildren and share everything I've learned, and pass along the instructions and responsibility of being good stewards to this land. I am ready to build capacity and community in my homelands and beyond. I am so excited to work with you!! Puniduah!! 



Alejandro Bravo - AmeriCorps VISTA

Alejandro Bravo was born in Nampa Idaho, but raised in Wilder. Wilder is a very small town with about
2,000 people. He graduated from Wilder High school and loves to play music. He first began to learn
how to play the drums when he was 13 years old and later moved on to the piano which he has learned
to use as a meditative art. Since the art of music was such help for him growing up he was saddened
that because some kids were too busy worrying about what they were going to eat they could not
practice music to its full potential. With this new position as a vista he is hoping to be able to make a