Supporting the Hungry through 4-H Food Donations
Students of the Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy program awarded $600 to this hands-on, education-driven, philanthropic project that builds on the success of last year’s 4-H hunger relief efforts. This year Teton County 4-H will begin a community-wide “grow a row” garden campaign to create more food for those in need and process a 4-H market hog with the purpose of donating the local food to disadvantaged families and individuals identified through the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley. Teton High Seniors thought this grant was a complete community win for everyone.
Rising costs of living, limited affordable housing, and mounting income inequalities in Teton county continue to be problematic, with little relief in-sight. Even families that are not classified as “food insecure” are having to make difficult decisions to make ends meet—buying high-quality and locally produced meat and produce is often a luxury that only a few can afford. This is particularly significant for those who are homebound and/or live at, or below, the poverty line. The Community Resource Center helps these citizens by supplying and organizing resources for the Teton Valley Food Pantry, Family Safety Network, and Seniors West of the Tetons.
With greater awareness of keeping dollars within the community and supporting the farmers and land that produce our food, interest in and production of Teton Valley food and agriculture products continues to expand. Teton County 4-H has a 100-year history with the University of Idaho’s Cooperative Extension Service, in helping to educate adults and youth alike about food, agriculture, home economics, and science through hands-on experiential education. This includes helping youth learn about animal husbandry and agriculture production through 4-H programs.
4-H hopes that their food donation efforts continue the important conversation about where and how food is grown and processed in Teton Valley. Further, they hope to showcase the wonderful opportunities youth have in our community when participating in 4-H – like community service and hands-on learning. The 4-H motto is “to make the best better”—this program will help improve efforts to reduce hunger in Teton Valley, as well as connect consumers with the people and land that grow our food.