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How to give back during the holiday season

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With only two weeks until Thanksgiving, the holiday season is officially upon us. For those looking to give back to their community, here's your 2019 Guide to Giving Back. 

Food Drives

Nearly 16 percent, or 70,000, of Idaho's children suffer from food insecurity, according to the Idaho Food Bank. Here are some ways you can combat food insecurity during the holidays:

The goal of Cranksgiving is to collect 1,000 turkeys for families who can't afford a Thanksgiving dinner. People interested in donating can drop of a turkey or money at Barrie's on Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello, or at any Pocatello Idaho Central Credit Union branch. 

On Saturday, Nov. 23, cyclists and volunteers will transport the turkeys from Barrie's shop to the food bank, taking a 1.5 mile bike ride with the frozen birds.

“We take them to the local food bank, and we hope that we’ll have everybody on their bicycles, and we go right down Yellowstone with all the turkeys, and it’s really fun,” Barrie Hunt said.

  • 'No Child Hungry' with Pocatello Electric (Accepting donations now through end of December)

“We’ve ordered 10,000 meals of which we will package here. They’ll be boxed in cases of 30 to a case, and we will distribute all of those meals locally for hungry children,” said Mike Vigliaturo, owner of Pocatello Electric.

Pocatello Electric is asking community members to drop off non-perishable food items (their goal is to fill a refrigerator box) that they'll give to local nonprofits like Family Services Alliance.

“We are so grateful for this because a lot of times survivors who come in for services with us, they don’t have those basic needs being met and so to be able to give those, especially during the holiday season when there’s so much going on, it’s a huge impact for survivors locally,” said Amanda Juker of Family Services Alliance.

  • Food for Fines at Marshall Public Library (Accepting donations now through Dec. 14)

Bring in a can of food or a non-perishable food item and get $1 knocked off your overdue fines at the Marshall Public Library in Pocatello. 

Last year, they collected nearly 1,600 food items, which were donated to Growling Garden’s Thanksgiving and the Idaho Food Bank.

Pocatello Police will be collecting frozen turkeys for donation to the Idaho Food Bank. And, for every turkey donated, Idaho Central Credit Union will match that donation with another turkey.

Police invite citizens to "give them a bird" donation as they see officers around town, or drop off a frozen turkey at the Pocatello Police Department. 

Clothing Drives

  • Wall of Warmth Coat Drive (Accepting donations Nov. 18 – Dec. 1)

Have an extra coat lying around? You can drop off coats and winter gear at any of these locations: 

IDAHO FALLS: Action Motor Sports, Austin Kade Academy, Northstar Healthcare and Esthetics, Lyle Amado Barbershop.

RIGBY: Tadd Jenkins Chevrolet

REXBURG: Idaho's Real Estate in the Valley Wide Plaza

This drive is meant to fill a void – caused by isolation and loneliness – local seniors experience over the holiday season each year, according to the drive's webpage. 

You can donate socks, hot cocoa, lap blankets, activity books (with a pen), hygiene kits and non-perishable snacks. 

Donation boxes can be found at different businesses and organizations in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area. Click here to find locations

Toy Drives

  • 'Stuffed with Love' stuffed animal and book drive (Accepting donations through month of November)

In honor of National Adoption Month, the Sixth District Judicial Family Court Services are asking for stuffed animal and book donations for children in the foster care program.

Bring items to the Family Court Services office on the first floor of the Bannock County Courthouse or call 208-236-7416 to arrange pick-ups.

Other ways to give back

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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