One man's dream feeds thousands in Meridian

One man's dream feeds thousands in Meridian

Print
Email
|

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7

Idaho's NewsChannel 7

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 11 at 11:54 AM

MERIDIAN -- Do you know that the city of Meridian has its own food bank?  It was started back in 1999 by one man, Dan Clark.

Years later, with the help of close to 70 volunteers, he is still making sure needy families in the city are fed.

"The first month we were in business in 1999, probably gave out food for maybe ten or fifteen people," said Dan Clark.  "As time went by, we kept growing and this is now our 3rd location."

He had no idea that by 2011, it would grow into the operation it is today.

"We gave out food for almost 4000 people in a month," said Clark.  "The economy has certainly contributed to that."

Dan says today there is a new definition for homelessness, "Housing foreclosures, people having to move into other people's homes."

"I think for some people it's embarrassing to come in, they have never had to do this before." said Liz Warner, manager of the Meridian Food Bank.

Last year alone, the Meridian Food Bank distributed 400,000 pounds of food to needy families.

The food comes from a variety of sources.

"We get food from elementary school food drives," said Clark.  "Post office food drives."

The food bank also accepts private donations, and they stay up and running with the help of a grant from the city of Meridian.

Mayor Tammy de Weerd knows how important this resource is.

"There's been a growing need of families that have started to rely on the Meridian Food Bank, so this has been a huge boost for the families of this community." said Mayor Tammy de Weerd.

ACHD helps out by leasing buildings, located on the corner of Meridian and Bower, to the food bank for just one dollar each year.

Dan says it is all a community effort. 

"This whole food bank thing would not have happened had it not been for these other people caring," said Clark.  "And that's really what it's all about, nobody gets paid here. This is all out of the heart."

The volunteers say from the start, this week's 7's Hero Dan Clark, has been the soul of the operation.

"He's tremendous. He had a vision and his heart is so completely into this vision, " said Warner.

"You walk out of here on a hard day blessed, knowing that you've been able to help," said Clark.

The Meridian Food Bank is located on Meridian and Bower.   Right now, Dan is in the process of working with the city to find the food bank a permanent home.

If you have an idea for a 7's Hero, email Maggie O'Mara.

Print
Email
|