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Pay It Forward: Upper Valley Bible Church food pantry

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Todd Kunz
Neighbors claim the Upper Valley Bible Church and the food pantry have served many people in the community surrounding St. Anthony for years.

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (KXPI) - This Pay It Forward was nominated by a neighbor. They told Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz that the Upper Valley Bible Church has served many people in the community surrounding St. Anthony for years.

Kunz wanted to see what they are doing that is making such an impact. So he stopped by to Pay It Forward.

"Chris and the whole gang, they do what they do. They are faithful at what they do. Some of them have been doing it for years," said Pastor Ken Parker, referring to his co-pastor, Chris Isaacs standing next to him.

The two of them have high praises for the 20 or so volunteers that keep the food pantry in the basement of the church operating.

"Without the volunteers, we couldn't do this," said Pastor Isaacs.

Organizers like Betty Brown and Al Struck or volunteers like Annie Stephens.

"I volunteer because I enjoy seeing people here and I enjoy seeing what other people can get and I enjoy helping them smile I guess," said Stephens.

Pastor Isaacs told Kunz that food pantry has been here for 23 years. It started as a bread ministry and then partnered with the Idaho Food Bank in 2009.

The need has steadily increased over the years according to Isaacs. He said they distribute weekly, four times a month and serve about 40 families and nearly 125 individuals. It works out to about 600 to 900 people per month.

All the donations come from individuals and groups, plus area businesses like Broulim's, Albertsons, and Walmart.

"There have been a number of individuals and businesses that have donated, that we take and buy things that we normally don't get through the donations, canned foods, particularly meats and protein type ideas," said Parker.

"That room down there, that room right here, and that room on the far end there all have canned goods and different long-term storage products. When we don't get enough of this stuff, the stuff we have to give away, the perishable, then we supplement with the long-term storage stuff," said Isaacs.

Time to Pay It Forward.

"It's a lot of fun," said Parker.

"Yeah?" said Kunz.

"It's a lot of hard work," said Parker.

"Pastor Parker?" asked a woman entering the room.

"Oh, hello," replied Parker.

"And Isaacs, right? Very nice to meet you. I'm Casey (Leatham) with Mountain America Credit Union," said the woman.

"Oh, hello," replied Parker.

"Oh," said Isaacs.

"We're here to Pay It Forward. We're here to help support your food bank and all that you do for the community. So we hope that this helps out just a little bit," said Leatham, pulling $500 cash out of an envelope.

"Oh my," said Parker.

"So yeah, we just really appreciate all your hard work and everything you do," said Leatham.

"Oh, yeah. Well, thank you. That's exciting," said Parker. "Yeah. That goes to you," handing the money over to Isaacs.

"That's very generous of you," said Isaacs to Leatham.

"It goes to him, then goes to the treasurer and then the treasurer puts it in the funds and then we disperse it as it's needed," said Parker.

"Good," said Leatham.

"Yeah," said Parker.

The Upper Valley Bible Church is located at 825 West 4th North in St. Anthony, Idaho. The phone number is 208-624-3689. The Facebook can be found here with the hours of the food pantry and the church services.

"Pay It Forward" stories air the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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