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Four anonymous women will match up to $100,000 of donations to local food pantry

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IDAHO FALLS — Four local women want to help a local food pantry improve its ability to provide food for those in need.

The women, who go anonymously under the name “the Four Amigas,” have agreed to match donations that go to the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket up to $100,000.

The Community Food Basket has been serving the local area for over 41 years, but even in the last five, they have had to move three times due to complications that came with renting space. Each move takes weeks and probably over 50 trips with their food truck, according to Executive Director Ariel Jackson. Because of that, the Food Bank decided to purchase the current location.

This donation from the Four Amigas can help them get very close to paying it off and allowing more money to go to programs, existing and new, that will get more food to as many people as they can, typically about 2,000 families a month.

“We’re looking at it as like a legacy gift to the community. When I’m gone and when my staff is gone, there will always be a food bank,” Jackson told EastIdahoNews.com. “There’s always going to be struggling people, we’re not going to solve that problem in its entirety, but we’ll always have a home to be able to get food out from just people who need it.”

The Four Amigas heard of the efforts to pay off the food bank, and went into action with their plan.

“Ariel Jackson, and the Board of Directors of the Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls, have worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and safe place for the wonderful work they do,” they said in a news release. “We Amigas believe that Idaho Falls is indeed a community that cares about everyone. We could not pass up this opportunity to lesson the burden of debt for this outstanding group.”

The 17,000-square-foot warehouse at 1895 North Boulevard was purchased back in April of this year. It stores both dry and refrigerated food items, along with a Diaper Bank, school pantry donations, and a newly organized mattress program, according to a news release.

The Food Bank hopes to pay off the building as soon as possible, although the Four Amigas will be matching donations until December 2022. But the sooner they can pay off the building, the sooner they can put more money into new programs like expanding their work with the local schools.

“Our goal is to set up a backpack program for all of School District 91, not just for specific schools but for every school that wants to participate (in) where we send food home with kids on the weekends, where we send food home for holidays when they’re not eating at school. (We’d) even (like to) help some schools develop little school pantries that we (could stock) for these kids to take food home to their families,” Jackson explained.

If you are interested in donating, visit the website and click one of the donation options that says, “BUY THE WAREHOUSE.” You can also send a donation to @CFBIdahoFalls on Venmo, and put “Warehouse” in the description or send a check payable to the Community Food Basket – Idaho Falls to P.O. Box 2236, Idaho Falls, ID, 83403 with “The4Amigas” in the memo line.

“We are just really excited,” Jackson said. “We just need people to understand that the warehouse is so important to the flow of food and getting it to the people that need it … and we’re excited to leave it here for the community forever.”

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