Food Assistance

Idaho Potato Commission

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

The Women, Infants and Children or WIC program provides modest monthly vouchers for a variety of foods. They’ll cover any vegetable -- except “white potatoes.”

That single exclusion outraged the potato industry. They felt it sent the wrong message and Northwest lawmakers from both parties got on board to reverse the rule.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Many churches view feeding the poor as an important responsibility. But none go about it quite like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Across the country, the LDS church has farms, orchards and ranches. And the crops go to church-owned food processing facilities. Six of these facilities handle perishable food like meat and fruit, including this cannery in Garden City, Idaho.  

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Kids everywhere will rejoice at this news: broccoli, cauliflower and most leafy greens like spinach and arugula are in short supply these days. Produce managers are struggling to keep their section stocked, and customers are seeing higher-than-normal prices.  A cold snap in Arizona's  Yuma desert is the culprit.

Sammy Duda is with Duda Farm Fresh Foods. He says a warm December meant crops grew too fast, flooding the market ahead of schedule. This created a void when January’s cold temperatures damaged leafy greens.

“This is  not just a West Coast issue,” Duda says.

Flickr Creative Commons Capt' Gorgeous

Starting July 1, more low-income parents with young children will be eligible for food assistance.

The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children, or WIC provides certain foods to pregnant or breastfeeding moms and families with children under age five.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Food Bank trucks are once again in Boise parks providing lunches for low-income children. Last summer the food bank says it served nearly 60,000 lunches in its Picnic in the Park program. The lunch trucks will be in 20 locations through mid-August.