We have a brand new community event this year that will help Feed the Need!
The Ambrose School of Meridian is partnering with Homestead Ministries of Colfax WA, and the Boise Rescue Mission to package 60,000 meals to be distributed to those in need throughout the Treasure Valley.
Homestead Ministries purchases or procures donations of locally grown grains such as beans, peas, lentils, wheat, and barley from farmers and processors, along with spices, bags, and labels. These items will be brought to the school on Friday, September 25th. Stations will be set up in the gym and teams of students will come throughout the day to mix 10,000 1 lb. soup packages – enough to equal 60,000 meals.
Homestead Ministries began just a year ago in August 2014, when friends Tom Riedner and Greg Nolan saw an opportunity to help reduce the hunger problem in the Northwest. Their desire is to use locally produced agricultural products to reduce hunger. Their mission is to feed the hungry efficiently and generously using Christian values. Most people do not realize grains have different qualities. Homestead purchases (in some cases grains are donated) these rich resources that do not make the exceptional grade for the marketplace from the processors at reduced prices. A soup mix recipe is then created with the appropriate spices, and all the supplies are brought to volunteer groups for assembly. This process has provided thousands of meals that are distributed through local shelters, churches, and food banks.
According to Tom Riedner, “At Homestead Ministries we try to plant a seed for compassion. We have one mission that stands out from our other goals and that is to spread Christ’s Love and Understanding, one soup packet at a time. By developing a soup recipe using locally grown commodities and distributing the product to the hungry across the Pacific Northwest, we feel Homestead Ministries is doing just that. Our desire is to help people feed their families by providing a delicious, nutritious protein-based product to improve their lives. Our intent is to feed all that are hungry so nobody is turned away.”
Boise Rescue Mission will be one recipient of the finished soup mixes, which they will use both in food boxes for families, and daily meals at their four area shelters. “We sincerely appreciate Homestead Ministries and The Ambrose School of Meridian for making this generous gift of much needed food. As we continue to serve over 1,100 meals each day and provide over 400 safe nights of shelter daily, this gift insures that the mission will continue to meet the needs of homeless and hungry people,” says Jason Billester of Boise Rescue Mission.
Kirk Vander Leest, Headmaster of The Ambrose School says, “Part of what makes this program so successful is the volunteer manpower – or kidpower, as the case may be. Although monetary donations are always vitally important to any charitable organization, we as a school are able to provide 500 willing and able students in one location to produce a huge amount of food in less than six hours. This is not only extremely efficient, but a great opportunity for our kids to serve others in their own backyard.”
In the evening, families can sign up for an additional time slot to come and work as well. When the work is done, there will be fun things to do outside such as a bounce house, hot dog grill, and the chance to sample the soup that we will be assembling.
7.3 percent of Idaho’s residents are food insecure — 274,230 people or 1 in 6. More than 23 percent of Idaho’s children are food insecure — 96,090 children or 1 in 4. Of the 274,230 food-insecure people, about 120,429 have incomes that make them eligible for food stamps. Around 56,200 have incomes which make them eligible for WIC and reduced-price school meals, but not food stamps.The other 90,991 have incomes which make them ineligible for public assistance, according to the Idaho Foodbank. These people rely on private charities, such as a church food pantry or the Idaho Foodbank. (source: Idaho Foodbank)