Melaleuca is helping to alleviate food insecurity in east Idaho. Last week, Melaleuca constructed and installed a climate-controlled food storage unit for the Community Food Basket, which supports 22 food baskets and soup kitchens throughout Idaho. With the food shed in place, people can donate groceries after hours without worrying about food spoiling.
“I never thought I’d be excited about a shed, but I’m excited,” said Aerial Jackson, Executive Director of the Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls. “You can put your food in there and know we’re going to get to it the next day.”
The newly-constructed unit, made with material and labor provided by Melaleuca, replaces an old utility shed that had been used for years. Not only did Melaleuca build the shed, but the company’s maintenance team spent several days wiring it and installing shelving throughout.
“It will be temperature-controlled, and we have never had that,” Jackson said. “During the winter, when people were dropping off food, we had to pray cans didn’t explode, or if people wanted to bring fresh food, they had to call us to come and get it before it hit the temperature danger zone.”
Food security on the rise
The donation of the climate-controlled storage unit comes at a time when food security is on the rise nationally, with requests up an alarming 40% at the Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls. Each month, the Community Food Basket feeds over 1,000 families in the Idaho Falls area, and is the primary food supplier for 22 food baskets in neighboring communities.
CEO Frank VanderSloot donated the climate-controlled unit as part of his involvement in the Idaho CEO Pay it Forward Challenge, which encourages CEOs to do something special that recognizes local nonprofit organizations serving the people of Idaho. The Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls was one of two local nonprofits VanderSloot selected as part of the CEO challenge. The other nonprofit was the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Idaho Falls.