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Feeding the 5,000 to Kick Off

posted Feb 27, 2012, 2:55 PM by Karla Reynolds   [ updated Feb 27, 2012, 2:58 PM ]
Idaho State Journal, Saturday February 25 
  BY KENDRA EVENSEN kevensen@journalnet.com
 POCATELLO — The 15th annual Feeding the 5,000 Families campaign will officially kick off with a concert today.
The event starts at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, located at 309 N. Garfield Ave. in Pocatello.
The concert is free, but people can bring food or financial donations to the event to contribute to the campaign that aims to combat hunger in Southeast Idaho.
About two dozen churches and some local credit unions are participating in
Feeding the 5,000 Families this year, said Jolene Barnette-Stephens, who serves on the organizing committe.e. 

“We’re an interfaith group ... in Southeast Idaho and every year during Lent we raise money and food for the Idaho Foodbank as well as other care agencies,” she said, adding the campaign has become a tradition that the various churches look forward to each year.

So does the Idaho Foodbank and other agencies that are able to help numerous families because of the campaign.

Joye Jones, branch manager at the Idaho Foodbank, said Feeding the 5,000 Families donated over 19,000   pounds of food last year and $15,000 in cash — that’s enough to purchase another $90,000 in food since the food bank can purchase $6 in groceries for every $1 donated.  Jones said the food bank works with 53 different agencies in East Idaho so a lot of people benefited from the donations last year.

“This is a huge (event) for us,” she said, adding that she’s grateful to the churches that work together to help those in need. “They’re able to put all of their differences aside and focus on the issue of feeding their neighbors.”  

Tonight’s concert, which kicks off the campaign that continues through April, will include religious music performed by various church groups

“It’s excellent music,” Barnette-Stephens said. “The local talent we have in Southeast Idaho is just amazing.”

Following the concert, the various churches will begin their own food and fundraising activities in the weeks ahead.


And the interfaith group will also hold a progressive dinner, grocery store food collection and canning activities to further their cause.

For more information about those events and the campaign, visit  www.feed  ingthe5000.org  , or call 238-3540 or 637-0293.