With folks across the country struggling to afford meals, credit unions are stepping up to help people in need.
Feeding America estimates 17 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they aren't sure where their next meal is coming from. Angie Phillips is social media manager with Mountain America Credit Union, a Utah-based institution with branches in Idaho. She said the credit union has donated 26,000 meals in the Gem State this year, including a recent gift this month.
"It's the holiday season and people are, I'm sure, stressed out and stretched pretty thin," Phillips said.
The credit union also has branches in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico and has donated more than $32,000 to serve more than 150,000 people this year.
Phillips said food banks such as the Idaho Foodbank are great resources because they have wide-ranging networks to serve people across states.
"The food banks, they do a great job," she said. "They have the systems in place right now to feed people and help them out. People know about them, they're very well-known, so they know that they can go there and get some food if they need help."
Phillips said the credit union is doing what it can to provide relief during these trying times.
"It wrenches your heart to hear that there's so much need out there and that people are struggling. And you want to help everybody, so we thought donating to the food pantries would be a great way to make sure that as many people as possible can be helped and fed across the states that we serve," Phillips said.