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Idaho Farm Bureaus donate spuds to food banks

COEUR d’ALENE —Under cloudy skies in Coeur d'Alene, it’s the Farm Bureau to the rescue. 

A semi-truck arrived packed with more than fifty-thousand pounds of market-ready, high-quality spuds from cellars across Southeast Idaho to North Idaho food banks.

The President of the Kootenai County Farm Farm Bureau says the state’s county Farm Bureau’s had an opportunity to help out.

“It's just a pleasure that we can help out in some way here, to give these potatoes to our local food banks. These are being distributed here for the 10 northern counties on behalf of the Idaho State Farm Bureau and we are just glad that we are able to help out in some fashion during the pandemic,” said Dobson.

Palates of potatoes — about 1,000 bags, 50 pounds each — were carefully unloaded from the truck from a forklift operated by the facilities manager of the fairgrounds and set in a building for distribution.

The local farm Bureaus paid for the potatoes. The state Idaho Farm Bureau covered transportation costs.

Charlotte Hoover, Apple Foodbanks says the unexpected gift of potatoes will go a long way, and feed a lot of people.

“We have had an increase of some people coming that have been laid off to get food, now that the Corona Virus is here,” said Hoover.

Before the coronavirus hit, Idaho spud farmers were doing well. 50-pound cartons of restaurant-grade potatoes were fetching sky-high prices, between $22 and $23, Then on March 16th, carton prices had fallen to between $10 and $12.

The Idaho Farm Bureau is buying potatoes to support farmers and giving the spuds to food banks to help those who have lost their jobs in this outbreak.

“We really appreciate the potatoes we got today. That will really help feed our families probably for about a month and a half,” said Mary Orr of the Saint Maries Food Bank.

Ashley Singer of the North Central Idaho Food Bank echoed the sentiment. 

“It's a wonderful program, potatoes can stretch really far. You can do so many things with potatoes and help those in need,” said Singer.

Helping those in need, as the great pandemic enters the second month.