Friday, April 3, 2009

Hunger coalition wins humanitarian award

Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center to present award at annual luncheon

Express Staff Writer

Jeanne Liston, Executive Director of the Hailey-based non-profit Hunger Coalition Photo by Mountain Express

The 2009 Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center's Ann and Doug Christensen Humanitarian Award will be awarded to the nonprofit Hunger Coalition at a luncheon at the Sun Valley Limelight Room on April 11.

The award is presented annually to a Wood River Valley individual or group providing service that makes a difference in the world, whether on a local, national or international scale.

The Hunger Coalition partners with state and local social service agencies and other nonprofits to end hunger in Blaine County, and promotes solutions to the structural causes of hunger through collaboration, education and advocacy.

The Hunger Coalition's Web site reports that 32 percent of Blaine County children qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

"That means one in three Blaine County children are likely not getting enough food at home," the report states.

With a growing team of volunteers, the Hunger Coalition is making a difference.

"There is an incredible need for the Hunger Coalition's services right now," said Rev. John Moreland of the Light on the Mountains Spiritual Center. "We decided this year we wanted to make a difference with one nonprofit organization in particular and also make them our community service project."

The center will provide a monthly donation to the Hunger Coalition in the coming year, and take over operation of its Backpack Program, which fills children's backpacks each week with food to take home.

The Hunger Coalition received a $19,500 grant from the Wood River Women's Charitable Foundation and a grant of $1,000 from the Papoose Club for its Summer Food Program.

The 2008 Summer Food pilot program, in partnership with the Blaine County School District, served 6,000 free meals to school children age 1 to 18 at Woodside Elementary School.

For more information on the Humanitarian Award luncheon call 788-1498.

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