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Highlights from St. Luke’s and our community partners to improve health.

St. Luke’s awards CHIF grants addressing food insecurity, other health issues

people in masks preparing meals
Photo courtesy of City of Good. 
By Daniel Mediate, News and Community
December 27, 2021
child with box of food
Photo courtesy of City of Good. 

One sector hit particularly hard by the spread of COVID-19 was the food service industry.

Restaurants closed. Workers lost their jobs. Hunger spiked.

A band of well-known Boise food service leaders and business experts came together to figure out how they could help. They formed City of Good, a new nonprofit organization uniquely built to address community needs.

“We were born during the pandemic crisis,” said Cathy Knipe, City of Good’s first employee and current chief operating officer. “Restaurants were having to shutter and lay off workers, so those people were experiencing food insecurity for the first time.

“At the same time, in March 2020, a lot of the local farm produce was (coming into) season and those producers and farmers were then going to lose access to those restaurant markets because they were closed.”

Knipe and the City of Good board of directors, a who’s-who of local restaurateurs, chefs and entrepreneurs, worked with dormant eateries to reopen their kitchens and use that fresh produce to make meals for anyone in need.

To accelerate their efforts, the nascent nonprofit applied for and received a Community Health Improvement Fund grant from St. Luke’s.

“Community partners from across our region are finding new and innovative ways to support people and improve health and well-being,” St. Luke’s President and CEO Chris Roth said.

“Funding their efforts as part of our mission is critical to ensuring people have the opportunity to live their healthiest lives.”

The CHIF grant helped support the creation of “weekend fuel kits” to provide healthy, nutrient-dense food to hungry kids within the Boise School District. Local restaurants at risk of losing business during the pandemic were compensated to prepare the meals utilizing fresh produce from local farms and producers.

The St. Luke's grant ultimately helped to produce 3,000 meals over the past year.

“For us to receive a grant from St. Luke’s, especially in our first year of us existing, it served as seed money for us and it was so meaningful,” Knipe said. “It helped legitimize City of Good and because of that, we are still around today.”

St. Luke’s recently renewed funding for City of Good, one of more than 70 organizations across Idaho awarded a CHIF grant this month. St. Luke’s Magic Valley provided CHIF grants to 23 additional organizations, with more grants expected to be awarded this coming spring in the Twin Falls area.

Physicians, public health experts, volunteers from the health system's community boards and others review each grant proposal.

St. Luke’s prioritizes funding for organizations that are addressing the significant health issues identified in St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Assessments. These issues include obesity, diabetes, mental health, suicide prevention and more.

City of Good, equipped with additional funding, plans to make meal kits for an even broader audience.

The organization is coordinating meals for kids at the Interfaith Sanctuary shelter. The organization is also partnering with the Idaho Office for Refugees and Neighbors United to help feed new refugees from Afghanistan.

While City of Good continues to focus on food insecurity, Knipe said the organization keeps an eye on other potential needs and emerging challenges in the community.

“While we are currently in the food insecurity space, we don’t claim to be the experts and believe our role is to help address immediate needs where possible, food related or not,” Knipe said. “What we are designed to do is be nimble and be an organization that acts as a connector in our community.”

New CHIF grants in Wood River

St. Luke’s expanded the CHIF grant program this year to provide funding to organizations in the Wood River area. New recipients include “I Have A Dream” Foundation — Idaho, Men’s Second Chance Living and Higher Ground Sun Valley.

Grant funding will support efforts related to supporting under-resourced youth, providing safe housing and wraparound services for men in recovery, and increasing therapy opportunities for frontline workers. 

“We are excited to bring Community Health Improvement Fund grants to the Wood River area,” said Erin Pfaeffle, St. Luke’s Wood River director of community health and engagement.

“We are leveraging this funding source to support and strengthen the work of some of our outstanding community partners — organizations that are making a positive impact on the lives of kids, individuals and families right here.”

2021-22 CHIF grant recipients

Ageless Senior Citizens Inc.

Agency for New Americans

Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Idaho Chapter

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association

American National Red Cross

Angel Wings Network, Inc.

Assistance League of Boise

Assistance League of Boise, Canyon County Branch

BabySteps of St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral

Because Kids Grieve, Inc.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho

Boise Bicycle Project

Boise Public Schools Education Foundation

Boise Rescue Mission

Boys & Girls Club of Nampa

Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County

Breaking Chains Academy of Development

Caldwell Wrestling Club

Camp Rainbow Gold, Inc.

Camp River Run Inc.

Cascade School District

CATCH

Children’s Home Society of Idaho

City of Boise – Parks and Recreation Department

City of Caldwell

City of Cascade

City of Good

City of Mountain Home Parks and Recreation

Community Food Share, Inc.

Create Common Good

Dance Marathon at Boise State University

Elderly Opportunity Agency

Everybody House

Family Advocates

Family Health Services Corporation

Family Justice Center Foundation of Idaho

Fifth Judicial District CASA Program, Inc.

Filer Senior Haven

Genesis Community Health

Giraffe Laugh, Inc.

Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council

Girls on the Run of Southern Idaho

Girls on the Run Treasure Valley

Helping Hearts and Hands, Inc.

Higher Ground Sun Valley, Inc.

Horizon's Lifestyle Education Team

Hospice Visions, Inc.

Idaho Academy of Family Physicians

Idaho Caregiver Alliance

Idaho Farmers Market Association

Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force, Inc.

Idaho Immunization Coalition

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline

Idaho Voices for Children

Idaho Walk Bike Alliance

Idaho Youth Ranch, Inc.

Idaho Zoological Society, DBA Friends of Zoo Boise

“I Have a Dream” Foundation – Idaho

Interlink Volunteer Caregivers, Inc. DBA IVC

Jannus, Inc.

Jayden DeLuca Foundation

Jerome County Senior Citizens Service Area, Inc.

La Posada, Inc.

Learning Lab, Inc.

Legacy Corps

Life’s Kitchen

Living Independence Network Corp. (LINC)

Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center

Magic Valley Pediatric Cancer Coalition

Marsing Joint School District

McCall Nordic and Biathlon Ski Club

Men’s Second Chance Living (MSCL House)

Mountain Home Senior Center, Inc.

Nampa School District

Nampa Schools Foundation

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

OATS, Inc.

Parma Senior Center

Rays for Rare

River Discovery

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho

Shepherd's Home, Inc.

Snake River Stampede for the Cure Foundation

Special Olympics Idaho

Surviving Hearts Cancer Support Group

Terry Reilly Health Services

The American Lung Association

The Jesse Tree of Idaho

The Mentoring Network, Inc.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, Twin Falls

Third District Guardian Ad Litem program/CASA of Southwest Idaho

Treasure Valley Food Coalition

Twin Falls School District

United Way South Central

Valley Housing Coalition

Wellness Tree Community Clinic

West End Senior Center

Women's and Children's Alliance

Wyakin Warrior Foundation, Inc.


About The Author

Daniel Mediate works in the St. Luke’s Community Engagement department.