MISSOULA - December is a busy month at the Missoula Food Bank with clients stocking up on needed items while donations pour in from individuals and corporations.
Those donations, collected for their annual Holiday Food Drive, are needed well beyond the holiday season.
“This is the time that our warehouse fills up and our bank account also fills up, so that we can buy food and keep our lights on for the rest of the year," said Executive Director Aaron Brock.
It’s more than keeping the shelves filled. There are a number of programs the Missoula Food Bank offers throughout the year, including providing after-school meals and backpacks filled with food for the weekend for children growing up in poverty, as well as managing a delivery program for homebound seniors.
The main reason for the ambitious goals, $225,000 and 55,000 pounds of food, are due to a dramatic increase in usage at the new Missoula Food Bank facility.
“Our goals went up a little bit this year, and that’s just in response to the need that we’ve seen. We’re serving more people than ever before," Brock says. "I think moving into this new building didn’t create a new hunger in our community, but I think we became accessible to people who were otherwise going hungry, or skipping medicine or not putting heat in their house things like that."
Brock says all donations are good donations, but there are some items which are of special need.
“I’d encourage folks to donate things like canned soup, canned beans, canned veggies, dry cereal. Things like that really go a long way on our shelves.”