Home News Food drive held to meet growing need

Food drive held to meet growing need

Photo Illustration by Chase Lawrenson -- The Upper Valley Food Bank collects cans to fill their pantry. According to the press release, there is a large gro of residents in the Rexburg area who are living 130 percent above poverty level, but don’t make enough to pay mortgages, rent and car payments.
Photo Illustration by Chase Lawrenson — The Upper Valley Food Bank collects cans to fill their pantry. According to the press release, there is a large gro of residents in the Rexburg area who are living 130 percent above poverty level, but don’t make enough to pay mortgages, rent and car payments.

The Upper Valley Food Bank is holding a food drive July 16 to July 23. The food is meant to fill the needs of a significant increase in clientele, according to the Upper Valley Food Bank press release.
Amilya Craven, a senior studying communication, has been working to get the word out about the food bank and can-drive for her senior project.
“This year has been hard because more people have been needing the food. The food ran out really fast when usually it doesn’t … there [were] twice as many people,” Craven said.
According to the press release, the food bank served 203 households in February 2013, and continues to serve an average of 190 households a month.
Craven said that she has been doing a lot of the public relations work to help handle this increase.
“I’ve been mostly helping with getting the word out that there is a need … I helped with the Facebook page and getting people to like the page so I could send messages that there is a need. I put the press release together and I put those out,” Craven said.
According to the press release, the bulk of the clients that are helped by the food bank are people who do not qualify for aid. Many depend on social security for income.
“These are the people that aren’t getting food stamps. They have no help and just need that little extra food from the food bank. They are greatly benefitted by the donations,” Craven said.
According to the press release, the Upper Valley Food Bank works with the Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership to help those in need.
“During the past three months, the organization has helped over 1,500 people, and the need continues to grow,” according to the press release.
Linden Mac Isaac is a monthly volunteer at the food bank and regularly picks a box for a neighbor.
“In our little neighborhood there are a cole of people that helped out a cole [of] times because they can’t get out and they can’t care for themselves. It’s no big deal, you just go and do it. It’s not a hardship or anything; it’s what you do as neighbors,” Isaac said.
Isaac said that the food bank has recipes for people to use so they can figure out and plan what they need to get.
“It’s run kind of like a grocery store … They have some really good stuff most all the time. If you know how to cook … you can make meals. It’s a good variety; you get your meat, you get your proteins, all of you vegetables and fruits and stuff so it’s quite nice,” Isaac said.
Craven said she became involved with the food bank when she read an article in a newspaper about the Upper Valley Food Bank.  She got in contact with Tawnya Garz-Brewer, the coordinator for the food bank and began working.
“Once I read [the paper], I said ‘that looks like a good cause.’ I wanted to do something worth 50 hours of my time and I wanted to make a difference,” Craven said.
Craven said this experience has been one of the hardest things she has worked on, but it has also been the best.
“The things that have benefitted me
the most [have been] being able to put
to use the skills that I’ve learned
and learning new skills in the process, and ultimately to help people out … I didn’t feel like I did it for me … I like
the fact that I was helping other
people and not just myself,” Craven said.
Craven said that she thinks people will benefit from donating because it helps to improve the community.
“I think it’s important to know that any little bit helps,” Craven said. “Even if you think, ‘my one can of food isn’t going to do anything.’ It all adds and it will make a difference in someone else’s life with that one can of food.”
For more information on the food bank and donating, call the food bank and speak with Tawnya Garz-Brewer at 208-356-8849.

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