Meeting Our Community’s Critical Needs

There is an urgent need for both immediate solutions and long-term resilience in our region, a place we all love dearly. To address the rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19, Sun Valley Institute has stepped forward to make the biggest difference for our community’s safety and well-being right now. We’ve outlined our plans below.

Our Rapid Response focuses on four key areas:

Blaine Recovery Committee

Community leadership is critical at a time like this. We must quickly provide access to food and financial resources for everyone, support individuals and businesses experiencing economic disruptions, address the long term impact on our home and figure out how we will return to normal, even if the new normal may not be anything like our past.

SVI Founder and Executive Director, Aimée Christensen, is a member of the Steering Committee of the recently formed Blaine Recovery Committee, and SVI has stepped forward to help to coordinate this county-wide effort to increase access to resources for individuals and organizations affected by this crisis. The committee includes government, non-profit, business, and faith-based leaders. The first task is to set up a virtual multi-agency resource center (MARC), as a bilingual online location for all community recovery resources. Learn more about the Blaine Recovery Committee.

“Since the beginning of this crisis, we have seen the pandemic’s disproportionate health and economic impacts on our county. Coordination between the County, the local non-profit and business communities, and faith-based organizations will help to ensure a rapid, effective recovery to this crisis.” – Jacob Greenberg, Chairman of the Blaine County Commission

Relief and Rebuild Fund

The Relief and Rebuild facility will bring low-cost capital ASAP to those in need and serve as a vehicle for longer-term investment, meeting urgent needs now while also accelerating economic opportunity beyond this crisis. Mission Driven Finance, in collaboration with Sun Valley Institute, is partnering with the community to design the facility.

Local Food Supply and Access

Our Food and Farm Program, Local Food Alliance, is supporting the immediate needs of local farmers, individuals, restaurants, and grocery stores. We are working closely with farmers and the Wood River Farmers Market on ways to bring their products to market, including setting up an online platform. Your support will help our local farmers and secure access to local food.

COVID-19 Food Resources

We have created a comprehensive database of Blaine County food resources, including, but not limited to: retail stores, home food delivery options, restaurants open for take-out, direct-from-farmer buying opportunities, and access points for at-risk populations. We keep this information as up to date as possible, but due to the rapid pace of changing events, it is best to call specific vendors for the latest information.

Yes! We are working on systemic resilience, too.

In addition to these Rapid Response priorities, SVI continues to carry out its systemic resilience efforts.

This spring, SVI’s Food & Farm team, which runs the Local Food Alliance, will publish the inaugural Locally Grown Guide to connect consumers to local food products. The team is also building a regional Food System Vision for 2050, now in the semifinals of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Food System Vision Prize.

The 2020 Sun Valley Forum will be virtual and expanded to a series of year-round events, with a focus on immediate action, unlocking the solutions we need right now, and a vision for more resilient communities in the future.

We are committed to helping our community through this difficult time by leveraging our strengths: sharing expertise and best practices; coordination and connection; accelerating innovation; pioneering transformative solutions; and building awareness. Please support our critical work with a generous donation.

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