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Missoula church steps up to help after Poverello kitchen closure

Posted: 9:29 AM, May 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-10 11:29:44-04

MISSOULA – The Poverello Center is still without a kitchen after a major plumbing failure and staff are now scrambling to provide even basic food service for those who need it the most.

While some help has arrived in the form of volunteers, the Missoula homeless shelter is still looking for more assistance.

The Pov is in crisis mode after a major plumbing backup rendered its kitchen useless earlier this week — including all the food stored there.

“We had a major plumbing crisis and our soup kitchen is closed until at least the end of the day tomorrow but possibly into next week if there are any unforeseen issues for the repairs,” Poverello Center Executive Director Amy Allison Thompson told MTN News.

The shelter still has a lot of hungry people to feed so it is asking for food donations. Since they don’t have a fully functioning kitchen, they are asking for sacked lunch items to get them through the crisis.

Poverello Center
The Poverello Center on West Broadway in Missoula (MTN News file photo)

“Things that we need for supplies are sliced meat and cheese. We are doing really well on bread, really well on fruit, but I would say sliced meat and cheese and granola bars are really helpful for our sacked lunches,” Allison Thompson said.

“We are doing great with volunteers and we really appreciate everyone who has come out to help us today,” she said on Thursday.

The closure of the Poverello Center’s kitchen forced staff and volunteers to find a different place to be put together lunches.

The First United Methodist Church in downtown Missoula — which has plenty of room to accommodate all of the food items and the people putting them together — stepped up to offer help.

“They were not able to serve their meals and so they said that ‘we really need a space somewhere close by where we can assemble sandwiches and sack lunches and that kind of thing to get to their people’,” Pastor John Daniels said.

“They serve hundreds of meals every day, so something that abruptly is very traumatic and so, yeah, we had this facility and we have a commercial kitchen a newly renovated building,” he added.

“We really love helping out the community any way that we can and we love putting this new building to use for this purpose,” Pastor Daniels told MTN News.

It’s an act of kindness that Poverello Center is extremely thankful for, “thanks so much to the First United Methodist Church for letting us use their beautiful space. We so appreciate it and appreciate their willingness to partner with us,” Allison Thompson said.

Allison Thompson says that they hope to have their kitchen ready to go by next week.