Businesses unite to ‘challenge hunger’ in eastern Idaho
Published at | Updated at
IDAHO FALLS – Three local businesses are joining forces to raise money for needy families in eastern Idaho.
Good 2 Go, Brad Hall Foundation and Just 4 Kids Urgent Care launched the “Challenge Hunger Idaho” campaign to raise awareness and money for the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket.
Good 2 Go spokesman Dusty Wilson-Johns tells EastIdahoNews.com the goal of the campaign is to raise $10,000 by August 31.
“Brad Hall will match our donation of $10,000. We saw the (EastIdahoNews.com story about the ‘Four Amigas,’ four anonymous local women who decided earlier this month to match donations up to $100,000 that go to the food bank),” Wilson-Johns says. “Those women have since agreed to match our match (totaling $20,000).”
If the group achieves its goal, a total of $40,000 will be donated to the food bank. As of Friday, Wilson-Johns says they’ve raised about $5,000.
As part of the challenge, several businesses have put a video on social media inviting others to participate. Among them is a video from Brian Wood at Wood Funeral Home in Ammon and Telanie Jenkins from Tad Jenkins Chevrolet in Rigby. Good 2 Go CEO John Pierson also made a video, along with Mariah Shumway at Valley Collision & Towing in Idaho Falls.
Even the Idaho Falls mayor and city council are getting involved.
“Mayor Rebecca Casper is going to be doing a video later this month. A couple of marketing VPs at Melaleuca have done the challenge. Cooper Norman just donated $1,500,” says Wilson-Johns. “They also have the option of shoving marshmallows in their mouths and saying, ‘I Challenge Hunger’ and then they challenge others to participate.”
Though this challenge was inspired by the “Four Amigas,” Wilson-Johns says they had already been talking about doing something like this. Those women’s efforts empowered them to kick it up a notch.
It all started several months ago when Idaho Falls Community Food Basket Executive Director Ariel Jackson reached out to the Brad Hall Foundation expressing a “desparate need” for community support.
“She was telling us about all the food drives that happen in the fall and winter months and how much support they receive during the holidays. With COVID and kids being out of school during the summer … some kids only get that one meal at school and then don’t really eat at home. So there are also some heavy needs in the community at this time of year,” Jackson explained, according to Wilson-Johns.
The Brad Hall Foundation started a conversation and tried to rally other businesses for the cause. They launched the campaign on July 1, which was originally only supposed to last until the end of the month.
“Everybody is incredibly busy in July,” he says. “It didn’t really start the way we wanted it to. It later evolved into something much bigger and we decided to extend it to the end of August.”
The Brad Hall Foundation is grateful to everyone who has responded to the challenge. They’re inviting you to participate by making a donation or helping raise awareness of the needs at the community food bank. The food pantry can make $1 stretch into $4.80 worth of meals, he says, so even the smallest donation makes a big difference.
Whether the group achieves its goal or not, Wilson-Johns says they’re planning to do it again next year.
“We’ll do it in the spring next year. The food pantry has expressed that’s really when their biggest need is. They have another fundraiser the mayor does in July, so we’re going to move ours to spring and make it an annual event,” he says.
Donations are accepted through the QR code or change bucket on display at any Good 2 Go store in eastern Idaho. You can also make a donation through the Challenge Hunger Idaho Venmo account here.
Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.