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Bozeman community helping feed furloughed government employees

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jan 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-21 18:10:01-05

BOZEMAN – Tim Crawford has been helping the Bozeman community for years.

He often donates to the food bank and local organizations to help those who cannot help themselves. His reasoning? It is his duty.

“It is incumbent among those of us who are financially a little better fixed to help our neighbors when they are a little bit in extremis,” said Crawford.

This need to come back stems back to his childhood when there were times when he didn’t know if he would make it by.

Several years ago, Crawford helped organize relief efforts for people who lived near Roundup.

When he heard about the furloughed government employees who haven’t received pay in almost a month, he wanted to make sure they weren’t going hungry.

“I thought who in the world can help me with this,” said Crawford. “I don’t know what I am doing.”

Crawford reached out to HRDC and the Gallatin County Food Bank with a donation, but he didn’t stop there. He and the groups came up with the idea to host a pop-up food shop in the former Heebs parking lot.

“I think we are all in the same boat and so we better be rowing together. And some others have deficiencies, however, they may be, and I can help some levels and some levels I can’t, and it should make people feel good to help others,” said Crawford.

Furloughed federal employees can stop by the parking lot between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, to be provided food. HRDC volunteers will be outside with prepackaged boxes for people to pick up without them even having to leave their car.

“No one should go hungry, especially in our community,” said HRDC Associate Director Margaret Mason. “We have this donation and are asking additional support so that we can provide a two-week supply of food for families that are affected.”

The food bank said this event will fill a real need in the community. They have already seen several government employees walk through their doors asking for assistance and have also been contacted by Yellowstone National Park reaching out for help.

“People cannot afford to go without a paycheck,” said Mason. “They can’t afford food, they can’t afford rent, so anything we can do as a community to do to step up and help our neighbors is greatly appreciated.”

Crawford, HRDC and the Food Bank are asking people and organizations in the community to come together during this time of need to help in any way they can.

Items they are in need of include: gift cards, cereal, peanut butter, canned tuna, canned fruit, soup, canned vegetables, canned tomato products, canned beans, pasta, rice, and mac and cheese.

They ask that the donations are non-perishable and to shy away from any type of milk because of allergies.

Donations can be dropped off anytime at the Gallatin County Food Bank.

Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News