March 16, 2023

Pocatello–There’s a new option in town for families who want a more affordable source of wholesome foods.  The Bountiful Baskets co-op opened its Pocatello site this week, with such high participation that their inaugural basket offering sold out within hours.

Bountiful Baskets was founded in Arizona by a pair of moms who realized they could get better prices on produce if they pooled their funds and bought in bulk.  The volunteer-run co-op has since expanded to fourteen states.

Local teacher Whitney Curzon is the Volunteer Site Coordinator for the Pocatello/ Chubbuck Bountiful Baskets site.  She explained that the program does not require a membership fee or subscription; instead, participants can choose how often to reserve a basket.  First-time participants must set up a free account on the co-op’s website before selecting their location and reserving their basket.

Basket offers are posted every other Monday around noon on the Bountiful Baskets website, here, and are available on a “first come, first served” basis.  Offers close on Tuesday evening.

The conventional basket is evenly divided between fruits and vegetables, and fits in a typical rectangular laundry basket.  (Photos of baskets from established sites are available on the main Bountiful Baskets Facebook page, here.)  Add-on packs are also available, and can include case lots, bread products, desserts, pantry items, and specialty packs.  This week’s add-ons included:

  • A Mexican Pack
  • A Salad Pack
  • 5 Pounds of Red or Yellow Potatoes for $1.20
  • 25 Pounds of Lentils for $51
  • 4 Dozen Nectarines for $9
  • 18 Pounds of Green Grapes for $9
  • 2-19 Ounce Apple Loaves for $14.80
  • 3 Loaves of Sourdough Bread for $13.90

(all weights are approximate)

Payment for baskets (known as a contribution) is done through the website via credit or debit card.  For the Pocatello/Chubbuck site, the contribution for a conventional basket is $22.42.  First-time participants are also charged a $3 basket fee.

After paying, each participant receives a Contribution Confirmation, which must be brought to the pickup location in order to collect the basket.  Participants are also asked to bring something to carry their items home in, so the Co-op baskets can be returned for re-use.

The Pocatello/Chubbuck pickup site is at Indian Hills Elementary school, located at 666 Cheyanne Ave, at 4:30 on alternate Fridays.  If demand for the baskets remains high, Curzon hopes to be able to open the distribution site every week rather than every other week, or to assist other volunteers to open more sites in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area.

The next opportunity to order a basket will be March 27, with pickup on March 31.

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