HELENA - According to the USDA, fresh produce prices are expected to increase from 1 to 2%, and the Helena Food Share is already seeing the impacts of those price increases
"The so the cost for food items that we regularly purchase increased over the last six months by about 20%," said Bruce Day, Helena Food Share director.
The most significant price increases are for fresh produce and grains like pasta.
The food price is not the only thing increasing for the food share; the organization has served over 1,300 households in the month of March.
"We're finding that you know there are people coming to us who could afford to purchase all of their food before and now can't necessarily make it to the end of the month," said Day.
To help provide the Helena Food Share and others in need of fresh produce, four Helena High school classmates decided to build a greenhouse at the 6th Ward Park for a class project.
"We wanted to put it in the Helena community garden because it was already like an established community garden in Helena," said Helena High School senior, Anna Ries-Roncalli.
Their teacher Missy Sampson gave the project to the class to create a lasting impact, and with the Helena Community Garden already established inside of the park, the classmates found it to be the best place for a greenhouse.
"There are raised beds here already, and the community can rent them out and I hope the greenhouse can have the same function, and the community will be able to use it in the same way and get some early starters growing, so they have their tomatoes and everything," said Linnea Onushco.
The senior group fundraised $3,000 from the community for the Montana-made greenhouse and has found that helping others is a great conclusion to their senior year.
"I find that like really fulfilling to know that like we've helped people do something that they care about," said Ries-Roncalli.
The fresh produce donations to the Helena Food Share are invaluable to help lift the burden of costs.
"The produce that we get from people in this community who share in that way is also very meaningful, that also helps us with managing the increases of costs etc," said Day.
To find out how you can donate to Helena Food Share you can visit their website.