The Idaho Foodbank

Those involved in a Bannock Youth Civitan seminar put ingredient labels on bags of prepackaged french fries at The Idaho Foodbank in Pocatello last year. Community members who sign up to participate in the Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship’s service party on Feb. 22 will perform similar tasks.

POCATELLO — Portneuf Valley Interfaith Fellowship is inviting community members to participate in a special event this month in honor of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

They’re hosting a service party at The Idaho Foodbank, located at 555 S. First Ave. in Pocatello, from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 22, and they say those who participate will be able to work side by side with people of other faiths.

“Bring your children, your neighbor, a colleague or come alone and expect to meet new friends,” a news release states. “We are hoping for a large crowd to accomplish a substantial amount of work in a short amount of time.”

World Interfaith Harmony Week, which is based on a United Nations General Assembly resolution, takes place during the first week of February every year, although participants sometimes plan projects later in the month. The initiative “aims to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith,” according to worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com.

“It is hoped that this initiative will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities,” the website states.

PVIF, which is composed of a diverse group of faith communities, says the initiative aligns with its mission to “work together to better the community for the common good, both locally and globally.” That’s why its members look forward to celebrating the event.

Those who would like to participate in the service party are encouraged to register online at idahofoodbank.volunteerhub.com.

The event is open to all those 8 years of age and older, PVIF officials said, adding that those 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers need to wear closed-toed shoes and are asked not to bring their cellphones into the work area.

Kia Shaw, who manages the local branch of The Idaho Foodbank, is looking forward to receiving the volunteers’ help this month. She says they will assist in projects like repacking bulk food items and sorting goods and placing them into emergency food bags.

Shaw said she thinks its fantastic when community groups join together for a common cause.

“What better purpose (than to) help their fellow neighbors in Southeast Idaho,” she said.

Following the service party, volunteers are invited to gather at The Friendship Club, located at 745 S. First Avenue in Pocatello, at 1:30 p.m. to “break bread.” Trissa Cameron, who serves on the PVIF committee, said they will be serving homemade bread and jam.

PVIF has also asked Dr. Fahim Rahim to give a short presentation on interfaith harmony in Pocatello at the event.

Cameron encourages those who are looking for opportunities to meet new people and volunteer with their families to participate in the upcoming service party.

“There’s no better way to create harmony (than) working together,” she said.