City of Moscow Logo

Poverty on the Palouse Forum

April 5, 2018

For more information on this and other Poverty on teh Palouse meeting, please visit City's Poverty on the Palouse webpage.


Welcome - Jen Pfiffner, City of Moscow

Existing Service Providers Panel
Featuring Linda Nickels from the Moscow Food Bank and Chico McKinney from the Idaho Food Bank.  Listed below are the items that various facts that were shared with the group regarding operations for both facilities.

Moscow Food Bank, Linda Nickels

  • Open 4 days a week
  • No requirements for customers

  • Started as people’s food stamps didn’t last long enough
  • Distribute Senior Citizen food boxes, USDA federal program
  • Allotted by population by County by USDA
    • Hefty box, lots of basics
  • Minimal paperwork, food bank helps fill out
  • Some food stamps recipient have food stamps at about $10/month
  • When Trinity closed there were new customers, but not a huge influx
    • Noted customers came more often
  • 1100 to 1300 visits per month – 700 adults about 400 children 70 senior citizens
  • 500 family groups visits coming more than once a month
  • No one is turned away, some folks from Pullman occasionally
    • If a Pullman citizen comes, they are given food, but referred to Pullman
  • Perception that University has a high level of students going to the food bank
    • Not true, they actually donate more than there are student customers
    • High volunteerism, not an issue there, students volunteer for classes.
  • Senior citizens volunteer they get to make their own hours
  • Good representation from all churches
  • Delivery is an option for lack of transportation, disabilities
  • Supplies come from Idaho Food Bank in Lewiston twice a month, always a different mix
    • 2nd Tuesday and 4th Wednesday – mobile foodbank set up in alley
    • Volunteers from food bank and UofI ag class help
    • Started in late fall 2017
  • Moscow Food Bank has capacity for fresh frozen or perishable, but not extensive
    • Food leftover can usually fit in existing facilities and is offered to Potlatch
    • Has several freezers and refrigerators
  • Summer time becomes an issue, but space has not been an issue to date
  • Food sources
    • Pick up from Walmart 3 days a week 400 to 600 lbs of food
    • Rosauers 2x per week
    • Safeway once per week
    • WinCo once per week
    • Walmart in Pullman 2x month typically clothing (returned items)
  • Coordinator has been doing this for 25 years
  • Not a separate 501©3 under St. Mary’s church
  • Moscow Food Bank finds they’ll have tons of produce they can’t give away,

Idaho Food Bank

  • Purchase food, hamburger usually, eggs, margarine, sugar, shortening, community donations, usually spend about $2,000 to $3,000 try to balance donations, eg, high sweets from groceries, balance with purchases.

  • Feeding America – partnerships with grocery stores (all)

    • Clear out inventory for best by date, still fresh and good, just passes peak retail sale date
    • Typically saves about $5 million lbs of feed each year
    • Typically is distributed and ends up with families the same day
    • Partnership with Moscow Food Bank and Idaho Food Bank has created efficiencies for pick up from stores with Feeding America
  • Donation cycle, holiday high, harvest high, spring is the lowest peak for donations of food and money.
  • Partner with 222 non-profits, shelters, meal sites, senior centers, etc.
  • Source food from all over US – Feeding America Foodbank, one in each state.
  • Largest provider of emergency food in the State of Idaho.
  • 80% of food is fresh and perishable, typically produce and dairy specifically in Idaho
    • Shifting from dry and shelf stable to more fresh
  • Full charity 501©3
  • Administers programs TFAP program, summer feeding in Ada County, USDA senior boxes
  • Relies on donations from individuals
  • 10 county service region, primary service region is Nez Perce, Latah, Lewis and Idaho Counties
  • Backpack program offered at top 39 counties 7,000 backpacks distributed in county all purchased food
  • Supplement with school pantry program to provide donated food as options
  • Mobile food pantry
  • Grocery store program, rescue food that would be thrown away
  • Nutrition education class – meal planning, cook on a budget, seniors, diabetics
  • Latah County – 7 community partners
  • 360,000 lbs of food in Latah County
  • Backpack program not at charter schools, school counselors are the link for that… eligible, but none applied in North Central, open just not used in our area.  Program is only at school.
  • Changes – Franz, bread was frozen, still good, distributed with past due dates and Franz was being criticized so discontinued, it’s gone through grocery stores instead.
  • Idaho Health and Welfare – Does the share the info on how to find the food banks, yes 211 is the main source for
  • Eat Smart Idaho outlines food pantries, banks, etc.
  • Process for food bank to partner with Idaho Food Bank
  • MOU required
  • Then use online portal to see inventory and place order - $.06 per lb for delivery to cover transportation costs, no limits on orders.
  • Works with legislature to enhance donation options.
  • Work with hospitals to offer support for wellness at mobile pantries
  • Idaho Food Bank are mindful as best they can be, i.e. donation of cookies, won’t deliver, but they deliver, don’t say no thank you.  Won’t pick up pallets of soda.
Discussion and questions included:
  • Great programs, how to leverage eat smart, etc., how to teach people to use the fresher food, combating lifestyle and abilities…
  • Holiday at Moscow Food Bank – offers Thanksgiving and Christmas basket, do about 250 baskets at each holiday.
  • Idaho Food Bank – holiday baskets, 100,000 of turkey and ham dollars could fill shelves year round. Logistics, space in freezers, it’s important to have the experience, but logistically it’s difficult.
  • It’s not scarcity – its logistics – nobody should be going hungry.
  • Cooking demos?  Once a month, rarely do people say no, they take the instruction and use it.  Rarely people so no to the
  • Food bank cookbook?  Used to hand out recipe cards and people said they didn’t want them.
  • Partners like East Smart Idaho does sampling at the Moscow Food Bank, about 50% of people are willing to even try the samples.  Garbanzo beans example.
  • Moscow Food Bank get lentils, garbanzos for free, people are learning how to use them and they are being taking more of those products than they used to.
  • Distributing more whole foods than ever.
  • What level of support comes from church and civic groups – typically at the holidays, Moscow Food Bank
  • Community groups do food drives, majority comes through Corporate.  Work to get food in bulk to repackage. Idaho Food Bank
  • Idaho Food Bank solicitations – general donations go to North Central Region, can earmark for specific programs or for Latah County.
  • Trouble finding volunteers?  Idaho Food Bank used to, getting more, new facility is helping people to see what’s going on.  Has been in the background, new warehouse and promotion is increasing volunteers by 40% plus over the last year.  Can sign up on website to volunteer.
  • What’s the first time visit to the Moscow Food Bank like?  Sign in, show ID proving you live in in Latah County, how many people are in your family, inventory overview, options are based on family size and inventory available.  Try to meet what people like.  Service at front not shelves for shopping.
  • What other things do they need, toothpaste deodorants shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, sanitary products, diapers, basic hold house items, detergent, and dish soap, random sometimes we have it sometimes we don’t – Moscow Food Bank
  • Idaho Food Bank – new model to offer selection used to just be a box of whatever there was.  Kinder approach provide choice, helps to not waste food if people throw away items they don’t want.  Choice.
  • Idaho Food Bank donations – food drives, don’t use them a ton, great for community awareness, pay for food at retail cost then donate.  For the retail cost of food donated, cash directly given to food bank, those dollars can go much farther with more options, cash gets more food than donated can goods.  Moscow agrees with Idaho.
  • Food drives, encourage cash?   Yes please, both sides is good, all donations valued.
  • Blenders?  Crockpots?  Donate blenders,
  • Specialty needs, depends, ensure,
Helping Hands of the Palouse met and discussed several issues from their membership
  • Finances
  • Disabilities
  • Better Access
  • More days
  • Later
  • Until 6 p.m.
  • Saturday
  • One evening night
  • Special diet needs
  • Great programs overall but note it’s hard to deal with 8 lbs of pears.  Suggestion for food hub to have processing options.  Issues with liabilities

Formation of Steering Committee - Jen Pfiffner, City of Moscow

Given the tremendous interest and large group willing to support, the formation of a steering committee to help guide and direct future work has been recommended.

Many thanks to members who have volunteered:
  • Chico McKinney
  • Cynthia Mika
  • Don Frei
  • Helen Brown
  • Harvey Hughett   
  • Jessica Brierly
  • Linda Nickels
  • Michelle Mason Rocks
  • Misty Amarena
  • Susan Roberts
  • Tiffanie Braun
  • Tom Newhof

Steering Committee to get together to discuss next steps regarding the action teams developed in March:
  • Facilities & Equipment
  • Data & Information
  • System Oversight
  • Funding

The next full meeting of the group will be on May 10, 2018, this has been adjusted from May 3 due to conflicting events in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
Previous meeting minutes can be found on the City's Poverty on the Palouse webpage.

Next Meeting - May 10, 2018

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus