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Chobani provides funding for Magic Valley organizations

Posted at 6:09 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 22:01:37-04

TWIN FALLS — Chobani and the Idaho Community Foundation selected the recipients of this year's Chobani Impact Fund.

The goal of this grant is to assist local organizations in achieving their goal of helping the community.

The fund started in 2018 and since then has distributed $1.4 million in grant money to 30 organizations in Idaho and its home location in New York State. Out of the $1.4 million, $700,000 have gone directly to 14 organizations based in the Magic Valley.

“These organizations know the needs in their communities, and they know how to make that impact," said Jennifer Kronberg, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Idaho Community Foundation. "We use their use their knowledge of their communities, and the grant panel reviews those applications and selects the ones they feel like are the best fit.”

This year, five organizations were selected by Chobani's panel, which consists of employees that live in these communities and truly know the value each organization plays.

The five organizations selected were:

  • Jannus Inc. ($50,000) 
  • Lincoln County Youth Commission ($50,000)
  • Latinos in Action ($45,000)
  • Recovery in Motion ($30,000)
  • Magic Valley Kid Market ($25,000)

Jannus Inc. will use its funding to help serve people going through economic challenges. The grant will help Latinos in Action expand their program to support the Latino Youth and help them with culturally responsive social and emotional learning, college and career readiness, and leadership development. The Magic Valley Kids market will use its money to support the production of Magic Valley Kid Markets in 2022 and allow nearly 1,000 kids to have the chance to learn about creating a business.

The Lincoln County Youth Commission's $50,000 will go towards its new, two-phase business incubator program. The first phase will provide ten children under the age of 18 the opportunity to learn how to run their own businesses.

“We’ll help them with everything from business and marketing plans, to risk management, to long-term planning," said Karma Fitzgerald, a board member for the Lincoln County Youth Commission. They’ll get $500 toward their startup cost to run their business and hopefully be able to run their business out of the youth center.”

The second phase will give five other people, including adults that operate ag-based businesses. Those selected will receive $5,000 in start-up fees and will receive training from Pioneer Federal Credit Union and the University of Idaho to plan out their business model.

Recovery in Motion will be using its $30,000 to recruit three new employees, which will serve as recovery coaches and peer support specialists.

“They meet the client and find out ‘what are your needs," said John Brannen, the Director of Recovery in Motion. "Then they help develop a plan to find those resources and to find that funding to provide whatever that person needs.”

All of these organizations recognize the importance and value of having a company, like Chobani, working to increase opportunities, promote entrepreneurship, and diversity in small towns.

“For small rural Idaho communities, like Lincoln County, there’s no way we could offer programming like this without a grant and the support of people in a company like Chobani and the Idaho Community Foundation,” said Fitzgerald.

With the majority of these organizations targeted towards children, Brannen was also happy to see money being put towards adults that need that extra helping hand.

“The generosity of Chobani is so appreciated and everything they do for the community," said Brannen. "We’re helping people rejoin their communities again and become productive human beings.”

The next round of applications for the Chobani Impact Fund will begin next summer. Officials from Chobani and the Idaho Community Foundation are encouraging other local organizations to apply so they too can help strengthen their communities.

“Our job is to help connect people to their charitable passions," said Kronberg. "To make a difference here in Idaho so that everyone has an opportunity to live in thriving communities.”