Free food, yoga, hope: These Idahoans are helping each other

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Do you need help finding lunch for your kids, someone to walk your dog or just a good dose of hope? Idahoans have your back.

Across the state — especially in the Boise area — people are coming together to care for their neighbors and make life just a little bit easier for people staying home because of coronavirus concerns. Find a little bit of the help you need on our list.

This list will be updated periodically. To suggest other people or businesses to highlight, email the reporter or newsroom@idahostatesman.com.

Free food, grocery deliveries and more

  • Sofia’s Greek Bistro in Boise is offering free to-go meals for any child as long as schools are closed.
  • Andrade’s Restaurant in Boise is offering free meals to kids who usually rely on school lunches and providing other food assistance to parents who lost their jobs due to coronavirus closures. “As long as I have food in my kitchen,” owner Javier Andrade wrote on Facebook. “I will feed you no charge.” Andrade’s is looking for help to fulfill this mission. Message the restaurant on Facebook to help and call 208-344-1234 for food.
  • Los Mariachis Restaurant in Boise is offering free lunches for kids from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday until March 30.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Ada and Canyon counties have free breakfasts and lunches for drive-thru pickup for any kids starting Thursday, March 19 until schools reopen. All kids aged 1-18 are eligible for the meals offered every weekday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., regardless of school attendance or the free and reduced lunch status. Get the food at the Riverfront Park in Garden City, Meridian Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa.
  • Saint Vincent de Paul’s food pantry on Overland Road in Boise created a drive-up option to keep their volunteers and the public safe. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays.
  • The Lion’s Pride organization is delivering groceries for the elderly, immuno-compromised people and others who can’t leave their home. Ask for help in the Ada County Mutual Aid Society Facebook group.
  • Idahoans are signing up for the Backpack Lunch app, which connects people who want to help to people who need help with groceries or other things. If you need help or want to be a helper, sign up at app.backpacklunch.com.

Furry friends and other pets

  • Lost your pet? The Idaho Humane Society now has an online portal to check if they have your missing pet. Photos and descriptions of the pets are uploaded about 20-30 minutes after shelter staff find them.
  • Didn’t get to train your energetic puppy before social distancing started? The owners of Petagogy are moving their training sessions for current and new clients to Zoom and other video conferences. Contact them at 208-340-9677 or progressivecaninecoaching@petagogyboise.com

Other good deeds and hopeful stories

  • People created a virtual tip jar for laid-off or struggling bartenders and servers at Boise restaurants. Check out the Google Sheet.
  • The Blue Cross of Idaho donated $100,000 to Idaho’s COVID-19 relief fund. Nonprofits United Way of the Treasure Valley, Idaho Community Foundation and the Idaho Nonprofit Center started this charitable fund to provide assistance to low-income people, vulnerable Idahoans and families affected by the virus. Contribute to the fund by donating at www.idahocf.org.
  • Yoga and meditation instructors like Jodie Lea and others are offering free Facebook Live yoga and mediation sessions.
  • Need prayer? There’s an interfaith Facebook group where people can put prayer requests or pray for others. “All faiths are welcome but judgment is not,” the group moderators wrote.

Don’t see what you’re looking for on this list? Several COVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups have popped up on Facebook for areas across the Treasure Valley.

Note: The Idaho Statesman and McClatchy news sites have lifted the paywall on our websites for this developing story, providing critical information to readers. To support vital reporting such as this, please consider a digital subscription.

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Investigative reporter Nicole Foy covers Latinos, agriculture and government accountability issues. She graduated from Biola University and previously worked for the Idaho Press and the Orange County Register. Her Hispanic affairs beat reporting won first place in the 2018 Associated Press regional awards. Ella habla español.





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