LDS Church distributes food to area Native Americans in need
POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - During an especially tumultuous time for people financially, making sure our neighbors are well-fed is an even bigger feat.
To combat food insecurity, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partnered with the US Department of Agriculture to get unsold produce to people who need food assistance, with what’s called the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
“Farmers who were normally selling to restaurants haven’t had that outlet because restaurants have been closed. Instead, the government’s been able to come in, pay for these foods, these resources, and distribute them to families,” said Ross Hugues, stake president of Pocatello/Tyhee Stake and member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
On Monday, Church members and volunteers helped distribute 1,300 free boxes of food to Native American neighbors in Southeast Idaho.
“I really am glad to see a lot of our Native Peoples attend. For (the Church) to offer this not just for today, but for two more distribution dates, that’s amazing,” said Randy’L Teton, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' Public Affairs Manager.
More food boxes will be distributed on Thursday, Jan. 28, and Monday, Feb. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. (or when boxes run out) at the Church parking lot on US 91 between Ballard and Reservation Roads.
Hugues said he hopes to be able to continue regular food box distributions for the next five weeks.
Food boxes weigh about 30 pounds and contain items like milk, eggs and fresh vegetables.
“As we look through it, there’s probable enough to provide a family of six a good couple of meals,” Hugues said.
Among those who picked up food boxes on Monday was Jessika Perdash, who got boxes for some of her elders who couldn’t pick up for themselves.
“This is just a wonderful thing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is providing for this area. We’re all brothers and sisters, we all love one another, so we should take care of one another,” Perdash said.