North Idaho food drive critical to helping families in need

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho. — A North Idaho community center is helping make sure no one goes hungry as many food pantries struggle to fill the shelves.

The Families Helping Families February Food Drive has entered its final stretch. The Kroc Center is teaming up with volunteers, donors and local food banks to make sure families across five counties have the food they need.

Lacey Thompson is a volunteer with Kaleidoscope Community Services, which is a group that supports people in need in Coeur d’Alene. She understands that the donations aren’t just food. Those donations are a second chance.

kroc center volunteers with donations

Courtesy: Kroc Center

Thompson knows what it’s like to start over. She said she was in the grips of addiction for years. Thompson said she lost her children and eventually did jail time. Now she’s in recovery and spends much of her time giving back through a faith-based organization.

“You can’t do it alone. It’s not easy,” Thompson said.

That’s why she’s supporting the Kroc Center’s food drive.

“This enables them to have a little bit of relief,” Thompson said.

It provides relief for families and for the organizations that serve them. The February food drive goal is to fill about 1,000 boxes, which will reach about that many families, according to Kroc Center Community Outreach Coordinator Leslie Johnson.

“People are more giving around Thanksgiving and Christmas because that’s on their mind. But, this time of the year people are just really hibernating and not thinking about the needs of others,” Johnson said.kroc shopping list

That’s why the center rescheduled its annual drive from Thanksgiving to February last year for the first time. It was such a success that they decided to maintain that date this year.

“It’s great to see not just adding food that already exists, but these are very, very bare shelves,” said Kroc Center Director Kip Sharbono.

Organizers hope to fill those shelves with help from the community and volunteers like Thompson.

“It’s been an incredible process to go from somebody that was receiving help that somebody that people go to for help,” Thompson said.

If you’d like to donate to this cause, head to the grocery store with the Kroc’s shopping list. You can drop off donations to the Kroc Center front desk through Sunday night.