COLUMBIA FALLS — A grassroots community organization in the Flathead Valley is making sure Columbia Falls students don’t go hungry on the weekends.
Farm Hands Nourish the Flathead pack weekend meal bags for Columbia Falls students in need during the school year. The meal bags consist of two breakfast, two lunches and two dinner meals.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, executive director Gretchen Boyer said they've opened the free meal program to all families in the district. She says meal production has increased dramatically.
“Normally during the school year we gave out about 250 bags a week, and we’ve been giving out between 500-700 bags a week since the COVID-19 crisis,” said Boyer.
Along with curbside pickup, Boyer said 10 school buses drop off lunches at 80 different stops in Columbia Falls and the surrounding area Monday through Friday. Boyer said Nourish the Flathead and the Columbia Falls School District are working on a partnership to keep weekend meals going during the summer months.
She added that the outpouring of support and donations from local businesses and community residents have been remarkable.
“Overwhelmed by the generosity, and it’s been very necessary so that we can provide the amount of food for the increase and need in the Columbia Falls area,” said Boyer.
The weekend meal bags are available by curbside pickup at Glacier Gateway Elementary School on Fridays. One weekend meal bag is available for each child per family.