MISSOULA — The Missoula Food Bank has opened up a satellite food pantry at Lowell Elementary School.
The Market at Lowell -- which is stocked with fresh and nonperishable foods -- is open to families at the school on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. and is accessible to students through staff members throughout the week.
“We partner with Lowell Elementary in several of our programs,” Missoula Food Bank operations director Kelli Hess said. “Lowell is an EmPower Pack site, connecting students to nutritious food over the weekends, and a Kids Table After School site, providing healthy meals after school."
The Missoula Food Bank is piloting a “pay what you can” model at the Market – receiving donations from those who want to and are able to provide some financial support for the Market.
"Having a partnership with the school is so important because connecting families, giving them another reason to visit the school, and also having additional resources in a place where they already come is really so important," Hess told MTN News.
The food pantry is open to staff and teachers as well as families and organizers hope that through this approach the space can be destigmatized and contribute to the pantry’s sustainability.
A tour of the new service will be available at Lowell Elementary School’s monthly Family Night on Feb. 27 from 5:50 p.m. until 7 p.m.