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Volunteers giveaway free potatoes and hand sanitizer

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 09:57:54-04

On Saturday volunteers gave away more than 1,000 bags of potatoes and hand sanitizer.

The Great Montana Veteran Hand Sanitizer and Potato Giveaway brought car after car to Missoula on Saturday.

"It's just a great example of Montana helping Montanans, in a time of need like this," said joint operation Mariposa founder and President, David Williams.

The giveaway was organized by four veterans organizations, local distilleries, and Montana farmers who have an excess of potatoes.

"They were just going to go to waste," said volunteer Jim Royan. "With this COVID-19 lockdown, there are a lot of people that are out of work, they need to feed their families, and they said lets help people."

Samuel Redfern of United States of Hope said this is the first of a string of giveaways.

"Trying to just give people some cheer. It's been a rough couple months for the community in Missoula. And we're seeing just happy people," said Redfern.

When the event started there was a long line of cars all the way around this parking lot, and five lines of cars backed up. By 2, the line started to die down, but already almost 500 vehicles have gone through the line.

Around 48 volunteers helped distribute 33,000 pounds of potatoes, and 1,500 bottles of hand sanitizer.

Haylee Steinebach said she wanted to volunteer because there are lots of veterans in her family, and that it's great to see what these organizations can do for people.

"I'm seeing a lot of smiles, everyone's very thankful, which warms my heart of course," said Steinebach. "I'm very happy to help the community."

There is a giveaway happening 6 p.m. at the Lolo Community Center in Lolo, and one other planned for tomorrow in Helena.