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Pantry in Twin Falls seeks to serve LGBTQ community

 Queer Cupboard
Queer Cupboard
Queer Cupboard is a pantry that serves the LGBTQ community in Twin Falls

Shortly after Jenna and Tiffany Fountain got married four years ago, they lost their home abruptly. They were searching for a new place to live in Twin Falls and thought the hardest part would be finding a place that accepted their dogs and cats.

“But we continually found rentals in the area that were in our price range, and as soon as I would say, ‘My wife and I,’ they would stop talking to us,” said Tiffany.

The couple ended up finding a rental owned by an out-of-town landlord. Feeling settled again, they began thinking of ways they could give back to the LGBTQ community in the Magic Valley – those who might have been denied housing, faced discrimination in the workplace or been shut out by family members.

For these reasons among others, LGBT adults face food insecurity at a rate likely double the rate of non-LGBT people and economic insecurity at a higher rate, too, according to U.S. Census Bureau survey data.

With a handful of donated supplies going unused at the nonprofit Tiffany worked at, the two started the Queer Cupboard in 2020, a pantry they’ve run out of their garage to meet the needs of the local LGBTQ community. Companies like Chobani and Target have chipped in with items to stock the shelves.

Tiffany and Jenna Fountain started Queer Cupboard in 2020.
Courtesy of Queer Cupboard
Tiffany and Jenna Fountain started Queer Cupboard in 2020.

The Queer Cupboard now packs around 2 to 3 boxes of food and personal hygiene supplies to hand out each week. The only questions they ask are whether there’s an LGBTQ person in the household and if anyone has any dietary restrictions. The pickups are completely anonymous.

“We set it on the front porch and I schedule those pickups so that there’s never overlap,” said Jenna.

This year, the Fountains are helping organize the Southern Idaho Pride events in Twin Falls, occurring throughout the week. They'll gather donations at a drag brunch over the weekend and a central goal is to raise awareness and let the people know the Queer Cupboard exists and is there to serve the community.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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