Harvest for Hunger campaign begins in Blackfoot

Organizers of an annual food drive in Blackfoot are looking to set donation records this month for the Community Dinner Table’s food pantry.

CHS Inc. is hosting its Harvest for Hunger campaign for the seventh straight year. The CHS Bingham Cooperative is collecting food and donations through March 20, with proceeds going to the food pantry.

The Bingham County CHS operation is looking to exceed its $19,000 amount from 2017.

“We’re encouraging people to give anything they can,” said Denise Smith, team captain for the Harvest for Hunger campaign. “Whether it’s a can of food or a dollar, we’re appreciative of anything they can give.”

Fifty CHS operations are scattered throughout the United States, with most participating in this annual program to provide donations to local nonprofit organizations. And the St. Paul, Minn., organization is providing added tools to help the local chapters meet and exceed fundraising goals.

“Anything we collect, the corporate office will match up to a certain amount,” Smith said. “So a donation of $100 is doubled. It’s an awesome opportunity to make a donation go further.”

CHS Bingham County has worked with the Community Dinner Table for the past three years, and has helped provide tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations and food through this initiative.

“The pantry has added buying power, so for every $1 donated they can buy six pounds of food,” Smith said.

Rhonda Cheatham, director of the food pantry, said the Blackfoot Community Dinner Table helps feed more than 200 families weekly, and programs such as this help raise awareness and funds for the organization throughout the year.

“We have raised the quota and then some each year,” she said. “The community and local businesses have been so supportive and wonderful about it.”

Food donations are distributed through the Community Dinner Table from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Wednesday at 245 W. Sexton St.

“The money through this program goes to making sure there is healthy food for food pantry recipients,” Cheatham said. “CHS has been great with the work they have done to make this a successful program. We love working with them.”

Donations for the Harvest for Hunger initiative are accepted by mail at P.O. Box 887, Blackfoot, ID 83221, by phone at 208-785-3440, in person at one of the CHS Bingham Cooperative locations, or online at chsbinghamcooperative.com. Drop-off locations are listed on the CHS website.

Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763.