Per a resolution adopted Monday night, the city of Hailey will credit The Hunger Coalition for irrigation charges incurred this summer at Bloom Community Farm.

“In exchange for [metered city] water being delivered this growing season, The Hunger Coalition will continue to expand its programs during this critical time, when so many have lost their jobs,” City Attorney Chris Simms said.

Anticipated irrigation costs are around $1,524, according to Public Works Director Brian Yeager, and the city will credit the organization in the actual amount incurred at the end of the 2020 growing season.

For the Hailey City Council, the resolution was a means of recognizing the nonprofit’s level of commitment to Blaine County citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, The Hunger Coalition has seen “at least” at 30 percent increase in the number of people it has served, according to Councilman Sam Linnet.

“It’s really important to support them in any way we can,” Linnet said.

Councilwoman Kaz Thea agreed.

“They are feeding a lot more people than normal,” she said. “They provide such important services, from educational programs at Bloom Farm to cooking classes. They make our community more vibrant.”

According to The Hunger Coalition, the nonprofit fed over 1,200 children from Hailey in 2019 via its Daily Bites, Snack Pack and Summer Food programs. With 38 percent of Blaine County residents considered food-insecure—or one crisis away from it—the coalition has had a huge increase in work to do, Linnet said.

“I don’t think this is controversial at all,” he said of his support of the resolution.

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