The red leaves and crisp air in October bring with them happy trick-or-treaters, Halloween candy, and pumpkin pies on the dinner table. These are signs that also may give us a chance to reflect on the opposite side of abundance, a reality that can affect our dearest friends and neighbors. It is Hunger Awareness Month in our own Wood River Valley.
We have shown that we as members of WRWF have given this reality serious thought. Through our votes to fund grants in order to help the Hunger Coalition with their Daily Bites program and the Senior Connection with their Senior Meals Program, we have declared that we care about hunger in the valley and that we are doing what we can to help struggling families in our community.
In this October Wood River Women’s Foundation News Brief, our writers have researched books to read and movies to watch that take on this “weighty” subject. We are also featuring articles about these two deserving non-profits who feed our hungry here in this valley. We honor them.
To continue to inform you with three other short articles, not only do we give you a look at the 2016 Grants cycle already underway, but also we present some background on the WRWF’s Sustainability Fund begun in 2010. Finally, we give you a look at Membership events to which you are always invited.
This month we focus on grantees whose mission involves providing nourishment to their clients.
Grantee Spotlight: Hunger Coalition, Daily Bites $20,000
By providing supplemental nutritious food pantries to every school in the county, libraries, summer camps and other organizations, the Hunger Coalition will help the 42% of school age children in Blaine County who qualify for free or reduced cost meals. The ready availability of these snacks to all school aged children will remove the stigma of receiving food from the Hunger Coalition.
From the Executive Director, Jeanne Liston: “My work at The Hunger Coalition has certainly shifted as our programs and staff have grown over the last 8 years. Thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers and groups like the WRWF, we have a dedicated staff, an army of volunteers, and a solid food safety net in place to ensure no child goes hungry in our community. I am motivated daily by stories of the families we serve who face incredible challenges and who are bravely working to overcome them. It’s an honor to partner with these families in crisis and with our generous community to ensure everyone has their most basic need of food met with dignity.”
Grantee Spotlight: The Senior Connection, Senior Meals Program $15,000
The Congregate Meal Program at The Senior Connection serves 50 to 75 clients who come into The Connection each day, five days a week. This grant money is used to purchase high-quality, fresh ingredients to continue serving a full, nutritious lunch to these seniors. For many, this is the most nutritious meal they have each day as well as an important opportunity to socialize.
From the Executive Director, Kimberly Coonis: “ The grant provided by the WRWF is used to maintain our goal of providing meals high in nutrition and with a variety of choices. The grant has made it possible to buy fresh, nutrition packed ingredients including a new fresh salad bar and homemade soup served daily. We touch the lives of 150 to 200 people a day through a variety services and programs. Often as we age, people start making choices for us. The Connection, instead, gives people a choice in how they age, what they participate in, and what they choose for meals. The Connection also empowers people to make life choices about how they wish to age and where. Through good nutrition, institutional living can be delayed or eliminated for aging adults.”
Recommended Readings and Viewing:
FILM: October 28th, 6-8 PM, Liberty Theater — To celebrate Idaho’s Hunger Awareness Month, The Hunger Coalition and the Local Food Alliance are hosting a free movie screening of “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story.”
The Hungry Brain: Nutrition/Cognition Connection –
by Susan Augustine.
“Nutrition is often the missing clue to the mystery of why children can’t learn.” Our support of the Hunger Coalition’s Healthy Bites program will help to address this problem in our community. This book expands the understanding of what happens to the brain when it is not properly nourished.
A Place at the Table: The Crisis of 49 Million Hungry Americans and How to Solve It –
by Participant Media (Author), Peter Pringle (Editor)
Hunger and food insecurity pose a deep threat to our nation. A Place at the Table shows they can be solved once and for all, if the American public decides—as they have in the past—that making healthy food available, and affordable, is in the best interest of us all.
Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty –
by Mark Winne
Winne tells the story of how America’s food gap has widened since the 1960s, when domestic poverty was “rediscovered,” and how communities have responded with a slew of strategies and methods to narrow the gap, including community gardens, food banks, and farmers’ markets. The story, however, is not only about hunger in the land of plenty and the organized efforts to reduce it; it is also about doing that work against a backdrop of ever-growing American food affluence and gastronomical expectations.
End 68 Hours of Hunger:: Ending Childhood Hunger in America, One School at a Time
by Claire V Bloom This 5 star rated book takes a stance that mirrors our own Hunger Coalition in the valley.
End 68 Hours of Hunger is a private, not-for-profit effort to end childhood hunger in America, one school at a time by confronting the 68 hours of hunger some children experience between the free lunch they get in school on Friday and the free breakfast they get in school on Monday. Through local programs that work with local schools, End 68 Hours of Hunger provides bags of food to these children to take home on the weekend.
2016 Grants Cycle Underway with Volunteer Training
Grant making is the heart of our mission. The Grants Committee, our largest, oversees and enables the review and evaluation of applications from local non-profit organizations. Requests from local non-profits range from $5000 to $25,000 for specific projects. Each year, we receive more requests than we have funds. Last year, for example, we received 54 Letters of Inquiry (LOI’s) requesting a total of $750,000. While nearly all the requests were worthy, we could fund only up to the pooled fund of $216,000.
The Grants Committee, over a four-month period, will analyze the applications, conduct site visits and ultimately recommend which of the applications should be forwarded to the entire membership for a vote. Last year 18 projects were recommended; 15 were ultimately funded based on the membership vote.
On September 30, the Grants Steering Committee held a training session for Grants Committee Volunteers at Light on the Mountains. Twenty-five of this year’s 58 volunteers attended the session. Steering Committee members Charlotte Unger, Lynne Heidel, Gina Wolcott, and Kat Vanden Heuval reviewed the grants process, the timeline, and important policies related to privacy and confidentiality. In addition, they reviewed the WRWF Guidelines and forms used for evaluating proposals from local non-profits. Both veterans of the Grants Committee as well as new members asked questions and offered suggestions to make the process run smoothly and efficiently.
Grants Committee Volunteers were notified prior to the session that they were required to attend the training session in person or to watch the live, streamed video. All WRWF members are invited to view the video. The link to the live stream is https://livestream.com/lightonthemountains/wrwf-sept-30-training
The Sustainability Fund: Helping Organizations Thrive!
Sustainability refers to strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities of organizations to guide their internal development and activities in order to improve their services to our community. The WRWF’s Sustainability Fund supports activities that strengthen the organizations we have supported, rather than their specific programs and activities.
The Sustainability Fund of the WRWF was established in 2010 with donations from Marcia Liebich and Barbara Thrasher, both of whom served on the WRWF Board of Directors at that time. Since then, other members and Directors have contributed to the fund each year. The purpose of the fund is to enable Blaine County non-profit organizations to perform their missions more effectively by supporting staff and board training.
The Fund will provide scholarships for up to 50% of the cost of board and staff training, not to exceed $500. Applicants can submit a request for funding to The Sustainability Committee by e-mail. Recent scholarships have been granted to five staff members from Swiftsure Therapeutic Ranch, The Drug Coalition, and The Sawtooth Botanical Garden to attend the Idaho Non-Profit Conference in Boise in September.
If you would like to donate to The Sustainability Fund, you can earmark additional funds when you send in your annual renewal this fall.
Membership Committee News
Thank you to all who attended the September 10th Meet & Mingle held on the rooftop of Warfield’s in Ketchum. These gatherings are a really great way to meet fellow members and to mingle among members and guests you may not have met.
The next M & M will be November 12th at Velocio in Ketchum. If you’re in town, we hope you’ll join us from 5-6:30 p.m. Bring along a friend to meet the wonderful women of WRWF!
Our new member orientation and brunch was held October 15th at member Sandra Flattery’s lovely home. More than forty women attended. Four of the non-profits receiving grants in 2015 were on hand to chat with us and tell us more about their organizations and how our grants have impacted their work. All of us enjoyed the beautiful fall day, the useful information about WRWF, the good eats and good fellowship.
WRWF Members in the Spotlight
WRWF founding members MARCIA LIEBICH and JOANNE WETHERELL, and new board member and Grants Committee Co-Chair GINA WOLCOTT, attended the Women’s Collective Giving Leadership Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina this month where they represented our WRWF organization, one of forty-eight organizations to attend this conference. Joanne presented a session at the Forum titled, “A Strategy for Membership Outreach.”
PEGGY GOLDWYN – Peggy has been selected to receive the International Women’s Forum Distinguished Woman award at their annual Gala in Boston on Friday October 30. She has been selected, in part, because of her pioneering work in founding The Family of Woman Film Festival. She is currently an Emeritus Board Member of Friends of UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund) and serves on the Advisory Board of SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) and The Children’s Radio Network, both with operations in Africa. Peggy, before retiring, served on the WRWF Board for many years and was Co-Chair of the Grants Committee.
KATHRYN KEMP GULAY – Kathryn has written a book that has received 5 star reviews from Amazon. It is titled Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes, published in September 2015. It consists of stories from the author’s personal life and is described as an “engaging, often hilarious, backdrop for studying wellness and life lessons.”
LESLIE ANDRUS – Leslie has published Unscripted: Experiences of a Hospice Volunteer, the Joy in the Journey, and Thoughts on End of Life Care. This is a true-life experience of a young mother who lives through the death of her husband and becomes a Hospice volunteer. It gives a new way to look at death and dying and is available at the St. Luke’s Hospital Gift Shop.
JULIE WESTON – Julie is on a book signing tour of the western US featuring her just published second book that takes place in the Wood River Valley in the 1920s. It is titled Moonshadows and features a woman protagonist who is a photographer. Writer Ridley Pearson says of the book, “The reader walks effortlessly into a West long behind us, in this gorgeously written, taut mystery….”
LESLIE SILVA – Voted the valley’s Best Volunteer for 2015, Leslie is not only a WRWF Board member and Chair of the Social Media Committee, but also on the board of the Idaho Chapter of the I Have a Dream Foundation. It is this non-profit which allows her to say “I feel so spiritually and emotionally full from all I’ve stepped in to. I can’t stop smiling.” And smile is definitely what Leslie Silva does.
President’s Closing Statement
The astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, recently said, “If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” I would like to add to this thought by saying the women of WRWF are in the process of making their journey here on earth one of abundance for all of us.
Joanne Wetherell, President
Our Mission Statement
The WRWCF inspires and educates women to become leaders in philanthropy and brings significant, positive change to the community by pooling and distributing its members’ resources.
PO Box 3686
Ketchum, ID 83340
Please note that the old website address will take you to the new website
2921 Augusta Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89109
PO Box 833
Ketchum, ID 83340
Meet and mingle at Velocio Cafe, Ketchum.
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Renewals can be made at any time. Go to our website for renewal forms. The due date is December 15, 2015
News Brief Team: