Friday afternoon, different local organizations came together to hand out more than eight tons of food.
Cars filled the Holt arena parking lot at Idaho State University around 2:00 p.m. There, Grasmick Produce, Southeast Idaho United Way, and the Century High School cheer team handed out 25-pound boxes of fresh produce.
Southeast Idaho United Way CEO Kevin Bailey says, "There's no restrictions. Whoever needs it. We have people coming to pick up for their neighbors, or for themselves, or for their family. So, we're just trying to help out the community in anyway we can, and get people fed."
This is part of the Farmers to Family Food Box Program which keeps farmers and producers working during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also helps families. Bailey says, "Hopefully that helps save a little money in their budget during these tough times and keep people afloat."
The Century High School cheer team volunteered to pass out the boxes. Friday afternoon, that meant nearly 650 boxes. Cheer team member Wyatt Merzlock says, "I can't say how tired other people are. I'm sure everybody is really tired, but it's really hot. And it's just that kind of deal. We just got to get it done."
Organizers were afraid they weren't going to be able to get it done and hand out all the boxes of produce. However, every single box was handed out in less than one hour.
Bailey says, "People came half an hour early, an hour early, and lined up. And the demand is clearly there. It really is an eye-opener for us that food insecurity is still a huge issue in our community."
The demand is so high that dozens of cars had to be turned away when the produce ran out. So, to help meet more of that need, Grasmick Produce is teaming up with Idaho Food Bank and a local church to hand out more fresh-produce boxes Saturday morning.
Saturday's distribution is at 10:00 a.m. at the old Shopko parking lot at the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck.