FEED - Funding Education, Employment & Dining

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Be on the FEED Team!

A story about our new food trailer, The Doug Richards Cooking School and how you can be a member of The FEED Team!

There once was a man name Doug Richards who lived a very modest life. He was a janitor at True Hope Church for years living barely above poverty level. He worked hard and lived frugally so that each year he could sponsor a child from the church to attend summer camp. He was a quiet man who did not blend easily into this world. Doug was disabled physically but his heart was pure and sweet. He longed for a family but was never able to find his one true love so he poured all of his devotion into his work.

A few years back one of the members of the church who was a life insurance agent decided to start up his own insurance company. To help get his new business off the ground he gifted 10 life insurance policies to the staff at True Hope Church and Doug was one of the lucky recipients.

On September 26, 2012 Douglas Alan Richards passed away. Written in his honor was a note that read:

"A TRIBUTE TO A PRINCE: I have often read about royalty and those who are considered an elite class, but in none of my readings is there one to compare to Doug Richards, A PRINCE OF A MAN..." - Danny Hamon

After his passing the Church was informed that this dear sweet man had left all of the proceeds from his life insurance to True Hope Church. To this day, Doug Richards' donation to True Hope remains the largest received by a single donor.

The Church wanted to make sure that these funds were used in a way that would honor the heart of this man. They did a reach-out to organizations in our community that were doing work that Doug cared about.

True Hope's Pastor Bruce Young, and Jim Sonnenburg, Connections Pastor, came to Interfaith Sanctuary to do a tour of our shelter, learn about our work and request that we submit a proposal to be considered for this funding.

We prepared and presented "The True Hope Food Trailer and Job Training Program at Interfaith Sanctuary." This proposal outlined our desire to bring food service, job training and nutrition to our men, women and families with children through the purchase of a Food Trailer.

A few weeks later we received a call from Jim stating that the committee loved our idea. We were invited to present one final time to Jim and Dave Martin, a local businessman and member at True Hope Church who was assigned to make sure our plan was solid before approving any kind of funding. Dave was introduced to us as "Mr. No" so we knew we had our work cut out for us! With face masks on and social distancing observed, we did our final presentation and received the green light that Interfaith Sanctuary would be receiving the funding to purchase a food trailer! In addition, True Hope eagerly agreed to partner with us to support our programming with volunteer support!

Excitedly, we got to work looking for the perfect food trailer for our shelter. A shiny, almost new food trailer was for sale in Arizona that had everything we needed to make our dreams come true. We put a bid in and received a yes the following day. It turned out that the food truck was owned by a real estate agent named Jen. She had customized this food trailer to create a program similar to ours in her city. Sadly, right after starting this project Jen received news that her mom was ill and would need constant care and support. She made the decision to sell her beautiful trailer so she could care for her mom, but she was happy her dream would be carried on through our work at Interfaith Sanctuary.

As we were making the plans to get the trailer towed from Arizona to Idaho, Jen called and asked if she could just drive it here for us. She wanted to meet our staff and guests at Interfaith and she personally wanted to train us on how to work this customized food trailer. Two days later Jen and her friend Cameron pulled up at our shelter to deliver our trailer full of donations to help us get started.

Jen created this food trailer with the hope of bringing opportunity and nutrition to her community. Interfaith Sanctuary will keep her dream alive with the “The Doug Richards Cooking School” honoring the man who made our trailer a reality. We are excited to announce that beginning this fall Chef Alan Turner, a former executive chef for SYSCO Food Services and Agribeef who also worked alongside John Berryhill at Bacon, will be offering his talents to help us create “The Doug Richards Cooking School” right inside our new food trailer. Mike Fitch and Max Peterson, two new staff members at Interfaith, will be working under the guidance of Alan to help train our guests the skills necessary for getting hired into the food service industry while providing nutritious food to our guests staying at our shelter.

We will never understand how we got so lucky to be surrounded by such goodness with True Hope Church, Doug Richards, Jen and Chef Alan Turner, but we do know that because of them, we will make some very special things happen for our homeless community.

Donate here to help Fund Education, Employment and Dining for our guests at Interfaith? Become a F.E.E.D Team Member Today!