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TIN CUP CHALLENGE 2020

“Why It Matters”

Teton Valley Food Pantry (TVFP) leads the movement to end hunger in Teton Valley.   In good and challenging times, many of your friends and neighbors live without a secure source of food on a daily and weekly basis. In 2019, children, adults and seniors used the Pantry 2457 times. Already in just the first five months of 2020, that number has topped 2713.

Your donations allow TVFP to provide a safe, reliable source of food to local low-income families and individuals in a respectful manner and convenient location. Administrator Sue Heffron leads day-to-day operations at the Food Pantry where a large group of dedicated volunteers help with food stocking, packaging and distributions.

TVFP is a “choice” pantry where clients choose from a variety of foods to meet their basic needs. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in changes to meet state food pantry and CDC guidelines. Local food drives had to be put on hold. So, the Food Pantry moved to ordering all food directly through the Idaho Food Bank, Broulim’s and US Foods. Your gift means more fresh healthy food choices are added, such as milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Currently, the Food Pantry provides each client with a shopping list where they choose the items most needed in their household. Then volunteers fill each order. This allows food to be handled safely, while letting individuals choose the foods that are best for their family.

In addition, the Food Pantry increased hours to meet the growing number of households. There are now three weekly food distribution times. Your contribution through the Tin Cup Challenge will help keep the Food Pantry doors open and shelves stocked as long as necessary for your fellow community members.

All in all, Teton Valley Food Pantry is truly a community-driven organization where your donation has a direct impact on the most basic element of people’s daily lives – FOOD!

The TVFP is located at 1420 North Highway 33, Suite 103 in the Teton Valley Business and Education Center (Trailhead Business Center). More information: www.tvfoodpantry.com


As posted in the Teton Valley News ~ Julia Tellman April 15, 2020 HERE


On Wednesday, April 8, in an hour and a half, the Teton Valley Food Pantry gave out food to 40 households. On a typical Wednesday before the coronavirus pandemic, the nonprofit would have served six or seven families in the same time window.


“We’re seeing so many people without jobs, or with reduced hours—it cuts across the board. People have uncertain futures right now,” said Deb Adams, the Teton Valley Food Pantry board chair. Adams has managed the changes at the pantry in the last month, including additional distribution days and a shift to curbside pick-up.


Sue Heffron, who was hired as the new pantry administrator in mid-March, started on-boarding just as the nonprofit was morphing in the face of a new reality.


“We’re just evolving every week,” she said. “It’s a moving target, and the community has been so willing to move with it.”


Former long time pantry coordinator Sharon Froberg retired in February and when Heffron saw the job listing, it spoke to her. Her position as an outreach coordinator with Central Wyoming College had been eliminated and she had a skill set uniquely suited to the food pantry: extensive experience training volunteers, managing an organization, placing orders, and working with food systems as a 4-H volunteer and farmer. (She and her husband Andy own Purely By Chance Farm, a bird operation in Alta.)


“I really feel like I’ve been led to do something like this,” Heffron said. “I’m learning all the moving parts and it’s exciting to be able to fulfill our mission statement of not letting anyone go hungry, through the generosity of our community.”


The food pantry is adjusting to more stringent CDC sanitation guidelines, a greater need for volunteers, and fortunately more donations flowing in. With the increase in financial support, Heffron can now place orders through US Foods, including more fresh produce, meat, eggs, and dairy, rather than only shelf-stable monthly purchases from the Idaho Food Bank.


In the first week of April, Heffron placed two orders with US Food and took one emergency distribution from the state food bank. The food pantry is also managing the distribution of food rescue items picked up from local businesses by Community Resource Center volunteers. For the time being, the pantry is requesting cash donations rather than food drop-offs, to protect volunteers and families from contamination. To donate visit tvfoodpantry.com.


According to the Idaho Department of Labor, as of last Thursday nearly 78,000 Idaho residents had filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. The valley nonprofits that provide resources to people in crisis have already seen a large increase in demand for food, financial aid, and other support. Clients picking up food at the pantry need only provide their name, phone number, town of residence, and number of people in their household.

“The need is definitely there, and I feel so fortunate that our community gives enough money that we can buy food in bulk,” Heffron said.


Adams agreed. “The community has been amazingly generous in supporting us to do exactly what we need to do,” she said.


Heffron focuses her time on organizing food bags, training and overseeing volunteers, and placing orders. Volunteers take strict sanitary precautions, put shipments in a three-day quarantine before distribution, wear clean clothes and masks, respect social distancing, and are required to stay home if they’re feeling at all sick. That’s why Heffron wants more volunteers, in order to maintain a database of people in case of sickness. Call (208) 354-1658 to learn more about volunteer opportunities.


“If people feel safe from contamination, they’ll come volunteer,” Heffron said. “People have been wonderful, they’re so respectful and hardworking. My heart is bursting with gratitude for all the volunteers who have really stepped up.”


Life on the farm continues even as Heffron dedicates much of her time to the pantry. Purely By Chance has a new round of baby turkeys and laying hens and the first batch of broilers just settled in.


“We’re pretty excited,” Heffron said. “With the coronavirus, more people will be looking at the source of their food. At the farm we have control over every step, and when people know their farmer, they know we’re maintaining protocol.”


Food distributions occur every week at the Trailhead Building north of Seoul Restaurant across from the fairgrounds in Driggs, on Mondays from noon to 2 p.m., Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To set up an emergency pick-up, call the pantry at (208) 354-1658.

Teton Valley Food Pantry is pleased to announce that Sue Heffron has been selected as the organization’s new Administrator.  Heffron brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and commitment to the Food Pantry, having lived, worked and raised her family in Teton Valley for more than 30 years.  Heffron has deep ties to the volunteer community in the valley through her 4-H leadership and Alta Library roles. “We are thrilled to have Sue on board at the Food Pantry,” said Board President Deb Adams.  “She hit the ground running in mid-March as the Food Pantry was adapting its operations to the COVID-19 situation.  Her excellent organization skills and wealth of knowledge around volunteer training are a true bonus for our organization.” Teton Valley Food Pantry is dedicated to ending hunger in Teton Valley.  Established in 2008, the Food Pantry supplies emergency food assistance to residents, including Teton County, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming.  The Food Pantry offers three distributions times each week, providing a safe and stable source of food to anyone in need. Heffron is energized by her role with the Food Pantry.  "It is my honor to be a part of such an amazing organization! My passion has always been about serving people and this is a perfect fit,” she said. For more information about Teton Valley Food Pantry, please visit www.tvfoodpantry.com

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Teton Valley Food Pantry, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Federal ID #45-4252391

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