HELENA — The Helena Food Share is getting ready for their annual Turkey Challenge, a challenge to raise money to provide families with Thanksgiving dinners, but the challenge will not be in-person this year in 2020.
“This year, of course, with the pandemic and COVID-19, we're not doing physical food drives,” says Bruce Day, Executive Director of Helena Food Share. “We're not actually asking people to collect food for us or turkeys. So, on November 20th, we're going to do our Turkey Challenge, virtually. We're going to do it online."
Online at HelenaFoodShare.org, they are asking people to help through buying a meal for someone in need as opposed to collecting food items, due to the pandemic. The Turkey Challenge went live this week and about 120 meals have already been purchased as of November 5th, 2020. The goal is to provide 2,500 meals.
“There's going to be an increase in need because we've seen more, new families coming into Helena Food Share every week, at a higher rate than previously,” explains Day. “So, we want to make sure that we have enough for everyone who might have that need."
Helena Food Share says they are giving out about 1,600 carts of food every month since the pandemic began in March 2020. This is about a 41% increase compared to 2019. Since March 2020, food share have given out about 200,000 meals. They served about 150,000 meals in the entire year of 2019.
Helena Food Share will begin distribution of those turkey meals the following three days after the Turkey Challenge: the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of November. It is still not too late to sign up for Thanksgiving dinner, if you need one.
Helena Food Share is also getting ready for their Christmas Dinner. They told MTN about 500 families have already signed up, requesting a meal for the holiday.