What We Do
GOOD FOOD FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT
Founded in 2020 as schools and restaurants were closing, City of Good united local restaurants and growers to provide fresh, nutritious meals to children in the Boise School District, all while helping to keep culinary workers employed. Taking what was learned in the crisis, City of Good has expanded its focus to include helping food insecure members of our community, supporting local businesses, and promoting a sustainable food system and inclusive economy. To date City of Good has delivered more than 90,000 meals to food insecure neighbors in Boise.
WEEKEND FUEL KITS
Every Friday, City of Good delivers fresh, nutritious, kid-friendly meals to children living as guests of Interfaith Sanctuary. Kits are prepared by our long-time local restaurant partners – Certified Kitchen & Bakery and Roots Zero Waste Market – and provide enough food to last through the weekend. In 2022 alone, we delivered more than 9,000 meals to children staying at Interfaith.
SENIOR FUEL KITS
In the fall of 2022, City of Good began partnering with Southwest Idaho Area 3 Senior Services (SWIA3) to bring weekly meal kits to low income seniors (60+) that have barriers to accessing food. Kits consist of six ready-to-eat meals produced by partner restaurants using 30% locally sourced food with senior nutritional needs in mind. Our partner restaurants on this project include: Bittercreek Alehouse, Gaston’s Bakery, Lemon Tree, and Bardenay. Since the program launched, City of Good has provided over 3,500 meals to seniors and their caregivers.
MEALS FOR REFUGEES
In November 2021, we began partnering with local refugee resettlement agencies like the Idaho Office for Refugees (IOR) to ensure that refugees resettling in Boise receive hearty, locally prepared and culturally familiar meals. For nearly a year, City of Good delivered hundreds of meals per week to refugees staying in Boise, without kitchens or shared space, until permanent housing could be located. We have delivered nearly 15,000 meals during that time and are ready to answer the call if future need arises. Our partnership with the IOR continues and in early 2023 we began delivering food on a weekly basis to the English Language Center’s (ELC) afternoon program for young adults.
FOOD PANTRY PROJECT
City of Good partners with local farms and gardens to increase access to fresh, locally-grown produce in the Boise community. We work closely with schools and early learning centers to identify recipients based on current needs and coordinate volunteers to distribute the produce directly from the growers to the designated locations. Year-round distribution is made possible by preserving produce from the growing season and delivering it during the winter months.
The program was established in the Spring of 2022 in partnership with Global Gardens, with the goal of bringing surplus produce from markets and/or CSA shares to neighbors experiencing food and nutrition insecurity. This produce is paid for by City of Good and the Idaho Food Bank, which helps support our local farmers. In the Spring of 2023 we expanded the program, working with the Idaho Botanical Garden to distribute produce donations from their vegetable garden.
SHELF STABLE GOODS
In addition to providing local produce, City of Good also partners with local international markets and the Boise School District to provide diverse, culturally-appropriate shelf stable goods to Community School food pantries at Garfield, Morley-Nelson, Whitney, Whittier, and Taft elementary schools. City of Good places monthly wholesale orders and volunteers help pack and distribute the food from the storage site to the food pantries. The goods are purchased from local stores like Food Land Market, International Grocery Market, and La Ranchera.
City of Good is the exclusive food and beverage provider for Cafe Shakespeare at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Our menu focuses on locally-grown and produced menu items that serves Festival guests and patrons six nights per week during the summer months. By partnering with local producers we are able to provide consistent revenue to farmers and producers while exposing a new audience to both City of Good’s mission and the products available locally. Not only is this a direct support for a sustainable, local food system but it is a unique opportunity to speak directly with a new audience who can learn about and support our mission.
What’s in a Fuel Kit?
Fuel kits contain nutritious meals created by local restaurants, tailored to the recipient. Whether for kids or seniors, fuel kits are made with love and a lot of local ingredients. Sample foods include: Pizza making kits, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, sandwich wraps, fruit parfaits, oatmeal, enchiladas, rice bowls, homemade muffins, and more! View our list of partner restaurants and growers here.
These meals have been invaluable to our families. They have also given our social workers a lifeline to some of the most marginalized kids. I just want to make sure you all understand how much these meals mean to our students and families. Like one student said, ‘people really care’.
– BOISE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS EMPLOYEE
HOW WE SUPPORT REFUGEES
Last fall, hundreds of refugee families left Afghanistan to resettle in Boise. City of Good, in partnership with the Idaho Office for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee (IRC Boise), answered the call to help provide meals to these children and families. Since fall of 2021, City of Good has sourced and delivered thousands of warm, ready-to-eat, culturally familiar meals from local Afghan restaurants: Food Land Market, Ishtar, and Kabob House. We have worked through logistical challenges, language barriers, and rising food costs, but knowing these families feel welcome, safe, and fed makes it all worth it.
City of Good partnered with the Idaho Office for Refugees and local Middle Eastern restaurants to provide warm, familiar meals to families in transition who were temporarily living in hotels. These individuals’ lives had been abruptly uprooted, and they now found themselves in an unfamiliar country with new customs, new foods, and for many, a new language. When the challenges seem overwhelming, a shared meal can send the message that you are wanted, you belong, and together we have the strength to face the journey ahead.
– HOLLY BEECH, IDAHO OFFICE FOR REFUGEES