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Viewpoint: How donations to 7Cares Idaho Shares help charities meet growing need

Charities across the Treasure and Magic Valleys benefit from donations raised during 7Cares Idaho Shares. They discuss the increased need they are seeing this year.

BOISE, Idaho — Because of the coronavirus pandemic the need for charitable help is great this year. Charities across the Treasure and Magic Valleys are rising to meet that need.

The goal of 7Cares Idaho Shares is to raise as much money and collect as much food as possible to help those nonprofits carry out their missions.

This year KTVB has extended 7Cares Idaho Shares from a one-day event to a two-week virtual event that runs from November 30 to December 13.

The event benefits the Idaho Foodbank, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries and the Salvation Armies of Ada County, Caldwell, Nampa and Twin Falls.

This edition of Viewpoint focuses on the need and how two of those nonprofits work so hard to help those in need.

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According to Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, the number of Idahoans experiencing food insecurity is projected to rise by 16.2% or an additional 93,800 people in 2020.

In a typical year, the Idaho Foodbank relies on donors to provide food to communities and spends only $200,000 out of pocket on food. However, given the 49% increase in demand for food this year, the foodbank has spent more than $2 million on food.

"We've had to purchase more food than ever before in our history," said Idaho Foodbank President and CEO Karen Vauk. "The donated food supply just wasn't enough to be able to keep up with the demand."

She says that for every dollar donated they are able to provide enough food for five meals.

The Boise Rescue Mission was established in 1958. It now operates four homeless shelters in Boise and Nampa and provides meals every day for people who are in need.

"We serve meals and provide shelter every day, 365 days a year, shelter to people who are homeless and meals to anyone who wants to come to one of our dining rooms and have a meal," Boise Rescue Mission President and CEO Rev. Bill Roscoe said.

The Rescue Mission also offers drug and alcohol recovery programs, job search and preparedness programs and mental health programs to help people overcome homelessness.

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