BOISE - In the spirit of the season of giving a lot Idahoans are looking to give to people in need.
A common question though this time of year is; “What is the best way I can give back to the Idahoans that need it most?”
"Families are struggling, they may have extra expenses for their kids going back to school or different needs that come up this time of year, so we see the need numbers go up," said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank.
Vauk says the actual number of people in need is over 200,000. The food bank says they are really trying to stretch and meet that need this time of year.
The Idaho Foodbank and Salvation Army food pantry are a couple of examples of places looking for donations this time of year, but both places say the needs are about the same across the board.
"We are really looking for shelf stable fruits and veggies and proteins," said Wendy Wong, director of social services at the Salvation Army. "We can take them here, we can take them in the bins at local stores and we can take it through the Idaho Foodbank."
Giving food to a food bank seems like the most obvious way to help, but those resources say there are lots of other ways to help that are just as valuable, like volunteering.
"So there is lots of stuff you can bring in your family, your groups, and work together to help us get through this holiday season," said Wong.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Idaho Foodbank, they make it easy to find a time to pitch in through their website.
"Under the volunteer link there is an online system where you will be able to see the shifts that are available, you can sign up right there," said Vauk.
Financial donations are also very helpful. For every dollar the Idaho Foodbank receives, they can create five meals for a family in need.
If you talk to almost anyone working or volunteering this holiday season, they'll tell you together we can make a difference.
"We couldn't do it without the community's support," said Wong.
"It's great to see the community's interest in giving, individuals wanting to support their friends and neighbors in need," said Vauk.
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