The building of the Church of Jesus Christ will be the new home of the Idaho food bank

The old meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 351 W. 14th Street in Idaho Falls was recently donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart. (Jay Hildebrandt)

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IDAHO FALLS – A generous donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will provide more space for a local food bank to serve patrons in eastern Idaho.

The old Latter-day Saint meetinghouse at 351 W. 14th Street in Idaho Falls was donated to the community food cart in Idaho Falls, meaning the food cart will move its distribution center to a 17,389 square foot building.

Ariel Jackson, executive director of the food cart, tells EastIdahoNews.com that the new building is more than 13 times the size of its current location at 245 N. Placer Avenue. The non-profit organization plans to move into the space in the next six to nine months after renovation.

“The plan is to receive the keys in December after they have removed the tower, signage and artwork from the building,” says Jackson. “The building doesn’t have a dock for us to bring food, so we need a dock at the back and shelving. We also didn’t want to uproot our families in the middle of a vacation. snow.”

Half of the building will be used as a food bank distribution center and the other half will be used for community events such as educational independence and other charities.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has continued to support the food basket over the years, and this is the organization’s largest donation to date.

The Idaho Falls Community Food Cart will move into a new building after refurbishment.
The Idaho Falls Community Food Cart will move into a new building after refurbishment. (Photo: Jay Hildebrandt)

This is happening at a time when the number of people using the food basket is steadily increasing. It has delivered the equivalent of 1,738,105 meals in the last year, serving 1,043 families monthly.

“The need continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, undermining our ability to safely distribute food to those most in need,” says Jackson in a press release.

A larger building will not only improve the efficiency of food distribution, but also increase the safety of customers in a friendly, closed place.

“We had to call an ambulance three times this summer because customers had to stand in the sun, and now we are approaching the winter months. This gives us the opportunity to get our customers out of the weather… wait in a building that is warm or cool (depending on the season), ”says Jackson. “Our biggest goal was to get more space and get our customers out of the weather, so it will be great.”

Food donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart.
Food donated to the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart. (Photo: Ariel Jackson)

The church building dates from 1950 and has not been used as a meetinghouse for at least a decade. A press release from the church indicates that it recently functioned as the administrative office for full-time missionaries.

The church wanted to sell or donate it and turned to the Regional Council for Christian Chaplaincy, an umbrella organization for a food basket, to see if it was interested in the space.

“They liked what we did, realizing that we were meeting the community’s needs and that we just didn’t have the (proper) space,” explains Jackson.

Elder Fernando R. Castro, a member of one of the Church’s Quorums of the Seventies overseeing the area, is delighted that he provides much more space for the food bank’s mission.

“We are grateful to the food basket for its many years of dedicated service to helping people and families experiencing food insecurity and for being able to repurpose this building in such a meaningful way,” says Castro in a press release.

Jackson appreciates the “extraordinary gesture” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The current food cart building on Placer Avenue belongs to the First Presbyterian Church. Jackson is grateful for your support over the years. Jackson says it will be used by other non-profit organizations after the move.

Its 1895 North Boulevard warehouse location will continue to operate.

Volunteer at the Idaho Falls Community Food Cart
Volunteers at the food basket of the Idaho Falls community (photo: Ariel Jackson)

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