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Kyäni donates over 8,000 pounds of food to Community Food Basket

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IDAHO FALLS — In an effort to bring hope to hungry people in eastern Idaho, Kyäni donated over 8,000 pounds of food to the Community Food Basket Monday.

Carl Taylor, one of Kyäni’s founders, and Travis Garza, the company’s president, said Kyäni Caring Hands searches for service opportunities in communities all over the world.

They have performed service projects on most continents such as helping build schools and creating irrigation systems. This year, one of the biggest needs locally was the food bank.

Silas Wright, EastIdahoNews.com

Kyäni organized a food drive within their company and within a matter of weeks, 8,000 pounds of food had been donated.

“They couldn’t have picked a better time to do it,” said Ariel Jackson, Executive Director of the Community Food Basket.

Jackson explained how during the summer, food banks normally see a dip in donations, resulting in empty shelves. With the COVID-19 pandemic this year, even less was coming in.

“During the holiday season, everyone is giving,” Jackson adds. “During the summer, our donations drop way off.”

When the virus hit, the Community Food Basket went from serving about 40 families a day to 70. They rely on donations, cash and food from the community to help those in need.

At the distribution center, every family leaves with a minimum of 100 pounds of food, so Jackson imagines Kyäni’s donation should last a few weeks.

“Contribution doesn’t have to be big dollars,” Garza explains. “It’s the little things. … Can you imagine what a community like Idaho Falls can do for those who are in need? Just small numbers of people coming together to say, ‘Let’s make a difference.'”

Garza noted that everyone donating in their own way and in different amounts is what helped the organization reach a big overall donation.

“That’s what this community is made up of – people who give hope and help others,” he says.

Silas Wright, EastIdahoNews.com

The Community Food Basket is always looking for volunteers to help sort food donations. If you’re interested, call (208) 524-0994. Donations can be made online or at 245 North Placer Avenue in Idaho Falls. Monetary contributions are greatly appreciated.

“What I like to tell people is that we can take a dollar and turn it into $4.80 worth of food because we buy in bulk,” Jackson explains. “For every dollar you donate, I can quadruple it.”

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