BOISE — The Idaho Foodbank teamed up with the National Guard to package 1,300 boxes of meals for students in need throughout Idaho.
Through the Foodbanks 'Backpack Program' they usually provide students with food over the weekends, but with school canceled, they still wanted to make sure students are still getting the food they need.
"You know it really is critical that we make sure the food is there," said President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank, Karen Vauk. "There is enough uncertainty in people's lives right now; we want to make sure the food is there. That is not a worry. That is not a concern."
To fill this large number of boxes, the Boise Centre donated their event space to the Foodbank and National Guard, so they could safely package the boxes of food while maintaining a safe distance.
Each box contains ten breakfast meals, ten lunches, ten dinners, and ten snacks for the students and their families in the program.
"So it's not one weekend at time it's now five weeks worth of food. It just makes more sense given the conditions that we're in today to have fewer touchpoints and fewer distribution stops."
But, for one National Guard, helping package these meals means a little more than just giving back to his community.
"When I was a kid growing up, times weren't always easy," said Seargent Eli Morgan. "I got to be on the receiving end of some of these boxes from the food bank, so it means that much more to me to be on this side of it to help dispense it."
Even though his orders were to help the Foodbank, there's nowhere else he'd rather be right now.
"It puts a smile on my face," said Morgan. "To think about the kid on the other side of that box opening it up, and they're not hungry, they're happy to see what's inside and to make them happy."
With the help of the community, they are hoping to package the 1,300 food boxes by the end of the day Friday to be then shipped out to the kids in need. Vauk also praised the community for coming together in a time where we need each other most.
"These are the times when you see more visibly than ever, the amount of community support that there is in this state, and it's truly humbling," said Vauk. "It's that reinforcement that we come together as a community. We're not alone. We're not figuring it out by ourselves."
The Idaho Foodbank is looking for money and food donations now more than ever. For ways, you can help visit idahofoodbank.org