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The Church and Potatoes


smac97

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Idaho LDS Church farm donating millions of potatoes, needs volunteers for harvest

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Amid rising food prices and shortages nationwide, an Idaho farm is preparing to harvest several thousand acres of food later this month, which will benefit people throughout the West and the U.S.

Idaho Falls Crops, commonly known as Taylorview Farms, is a 4,000-acre farm at 10591 South 15th East in Idaho Falls owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With the help of three full-time employees and hundreds of volunteers, it produces millions of pounds of potatoes every year for people with food insecurities.

“About 50% of the potatoes that we box end up in the Bishop’s storehouse (in Salt Lake City) and it gets distributed through the United States,” Farm manager David Nielson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We also have a great relationship with Feeding America (a national network of more than 200 food banks). We send another 50% through their northwest division.”

really like hearing stories like this.

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The farm produces a sizable amount of wheat annually as well — about 285,000 bushels. Other products it provides are alfalfa, mustard and canola, which is a yellow flower cultivated for its seed used to make canola oil.

The Idaho Falls Community Food Basket is one local organization that benefits from the farm’s harvest. Ariel Jackson, the food basket’s executive director, says it gets about 45 pallets of potatoes every year, or about 90,000 pounds.

“We serve about 1,600 families a month. It ends up being about 6,500 people,” Jackson explains. “We get enough potatoes from this program to feed our families for a year.”

Jackson points out that nearly half of those 6,500 people are children.

How very nice.

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Jackson says the number of people the food basket is currently serving is significantly higher than the amount that needed food assistance at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time, Jackson says the church began sending truckloads of food to the food bank every week to accommodate the increased demand. It has consistently reached out ever since to provide whatever is needed and she’s grateful for that partnership.

“You never really know who might be struggling and who’s hungry, but we decided to come together in this partnership and do all we could to meet the needs in eastern Idaho and it’s been going great,” says Jackson.

Water has been an ongoing concern at the farm this year due to drought conditions. Nielson and his team were informed earlier this year they’d have to reduce water usage by 50%. Despite that, Nielson says they had enough for irrigation and “everything grew to maturity.”

“Next year is a major concern if we don’t have a successful winter,” he says.

The upcoming harvest season, which starts on Sept. 29, is another concern. The farm relies heavily on volunteers to help harvest the crops so they can be distributed. Many of those volunteers come from local church congregations, but anyone is welcome to participate.

A meeting is being held at the farm Thursday night at 7 p.m. for anyone who’s interested in volunteering.

“We want to open this up to the community. We’re part of the Interfaith Council in Idaho Falls and so we’ve invited them over for dinner tonight and we’re going to pass out a sheet showing when we have needs and invite all the community to come out and help with the farm and the harvest,” he says.

I wish I lived closer to Idaho Falls.  I'll have to look for service opportunities closer to home.

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Idaho LDS Church farm donating millions of potatoes, needs volunteers for harvest

really like hearing stories like this.

How very nice.

I wish I lived closer to Idaho Falls.  I'll have to look for service opportunities closer to home.

Thanks,

-Smac

https://www.justserve.org/

https://www.liftinghandsinternational.org/volunteer

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/foundation/festival-of-trees

https://www.rescue.org/united-states/salt-lake-city-ut

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12 hours ago, smac97 said:

Idaho LDS Church farm donating millions of potatoes, needs volunteers for harvest

really like hearing stories like this.

How very nice.

I wish I lived closer to Idaho Falls.  I'll have to look for service opportunities closer to home.

Thanks,

-Smac

Personal knowledge: this is just a drop in the bucket of what the church donates to food banks across the US every year.

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On 9/10/2022 at 7:42 AM, ksfisher said:

Personal knowledge: this is just a drop in the bucket of what the church donates to food banks across the US every year.

Yes, that is my sense.  We are only sporadically aware of how much the Church is doing.  See, e.g., here:

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) US$32 million — the faith’s largest one-time contribution to a humanitarian organization — to help fight what the WFP calls a “seismic hunger crisis.”

During a visit on Wednesday at the World Food Programme’s headquarters in Rome, Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric presented the donation to WFP USA President and CEO Barron Segar and WFP Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships and Advocacy Ute Klamert.

“We are so grateful to collaborate with the World Food Programme because we know they will get food to those who need it most,” Bishop Budge said. “And we thank Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith whose financial sacrifices have made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and all of us a little holier.”

The WFP will use the Church’s funds to provide food and other critical assistance to 1.6 million of the most vulnerable people — including mothers and young children — in nine countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

“This extraordinary donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not come at a more critical time,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “With millions of people starving today, WFP is working hard to deliver food, help and hope — and this life-saving contribution allows us to do just that.”

As a global food crisis forces millions more into hunger, WFP’s work alongside governments and partners is a critical lifeline for many. In Somalia, for example, WFP is scaling up humanitarian assistance to record levels to avert projected famine. In Yemen, WFP’s food assistance has reached more than half of the country’s population and kept hunger at bay. Meanwhile, millions of families rely on the organization’s food, nutrition and livelihood support in Afghanistan.

And here:

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Tatan Sutam Dur’s left leg was amputated a year ago because of a circulation disease. The 42-year-old father of two children, who lives in a village in the Garut district, hasn’t been able to work. 

He was one of about 500 people who received a prosthetic limb through a collaboration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and Yayasan Peduli Tuna Daksa, which translates as Limb for the Limbless Center, in several places in Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan, the Church’s Indonesia Newsroom shared.

With his prosthetic leg, Dur can resume working as a carpenter. 

“I am deeply grateful to everyone whose charity enabled me to receive this prosthetic limb,” Dur said when he received it in August. 

Thanks,

-Smac

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