GREAT FALLS – Donations are low and shelves are empty at the Great Falls Community Food Bank.
“The community food bank is currently experiencing a bit of a drought,” executive director Shaun Tatarka said.
Tatarka says it is not unusual this time of the year to be in need, but it is unusually low.
“Typically, in the summer we see donations both in food and money go down. This year it’s been particularly bad. We do expect it and we do budget for it, but this year has been more severe,” Tatarka said.
The Great Falls Community Food Bank serves 65 agencies in Great Falls who give directly to the public.
The items they are in most need of are canned chili, canned fruit, peanut butter and cereal.
The bank has two events coming up. Next month, they will host their annual Bank Challenge where local banks compete to see who can raise the most donations. Then, the bank will host a school food drive in September.
But there are ways to help before those events.
“There’s a lot of different ways people can help out. You can have food drives at your business or place of employment. If they have more than 40 pounds, you can call us, and we will pick up the donation. You can send us a check through the mail. You can go online and donate that way. Or you can drop off food at our place at 1620 12th avenue north,” Tatarka said.
The Great Falls Community Food Bank is open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
It is located at 1620 12th Avenue North in Great Falls.
“We’re very fortunate to live in Great Falls. There’s a lot of charities and we all struggle but we all make it because this is really a generous community. The drought that we are experiencing now, we kind of expected it. It’s just a little bit worse than usual. We’re really grateful for what the public has done and will continue to be,” Tatarka said.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News