Essential Eats plans to operate through the summer helping tribes get food they need

School year operations have been disrupted, but there's still a need
Posted at 11:09 AM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 11:03:34-04

A Montana organization based in Missoula that assists in providing food to families is asking for donations during the COVID-19 pandemic to bring help to tribes.

Essential Eats works with volunteers, farmers, meat packers, and other wholesalers to provide fresh meat and vegetables.

In April, Essential Eats served the Northern Cheyenne, Crow, tribes of Fort Belknap, Rocky Boy and the Blackfeet Nation, but they told MTN News this summer is going to be different.

According to executive director Sara Wecker, the virus had a significant impact when all of their orders were canceled. "We were set up to deliver to the Blackfeet Nation for March. And then for April, we were planning to bring Easter or a spring delivery to 750 families and four tribes, and all of our orders got canceled," says Wecker.

Organizers say they hope this summer is going to be different. They need funds to supply food to families who may not have the ability to go themselves.

"We don't typically distribute during the summer obviously, and there's still a lot of need. We have reached out to some of our partners to see if we can get more food, and it appears that they can find us pockets of foods, but we no longer have any funds available. COVID-19 is a tough time. It's hard to ask people for money. Foundations are broke, and a lot of people are asking for a lot of things. We're not a big enough organization to compete."

If you wish to donate, you can visit any Stockman Bank location.