HELENA — Since March, Helena Food Share has seen hundreds of new families come to the pantry who had never used food share before.
“We saw a real increase in need immediately after the start of the pandemic, and with the stay at home order our numbers were really high on a day to day basis,” said Helena Food Share Executive Director Bruce Day.”Then it sort of leveled off, but now again we’re seeing there’s just a continuing high level of need.”
Over the past months, Food Share volunteers have been filling to-go boxes with vegetables, pasta, fruit and other food to meet the increased needs of the community.
Hunger has always been a challenge for our community. Before COVID-19 reached Montana, around 1 in 7 people in the greater Helena area faces some form of food insecurity
The COVID-19 pandemic just showed how fragile many Montanans' food situation truly is.
“Each week dozens of newer families, people that have not been to Helena Food Share before, come in and ask for food assistance,” said Day.
Due to COVID-19 the food bank has had to significantly change how they distribute food, and are unable to accept food donations at this time.
That’s why MTN and the Scripps Family Impact Fund through the Scripps Howard Foundation are planning on donating $12,000 to Helena Food Share to help families in need.
No one should ever have to choose between paying their bills and putting food on the table.
Day says he hopes people facing hunger know that they can come to the pantry. Right now there is no application process, people just need to bring an I.D. with them and let staff know how many people are in the household.
“If you’ve never thought about needing assistance from a food bank or a food pantry and you find yourself needing food support, that’s why we’re here.” said Day. “There’s no eligibility requirements and there never have been. If you need help getting food, we’re here and we’ll have it for you.”
The need is real and happening right now.
Please, if you are able make a donation and help make sure all of our neighbors have a meal on their table throughout this crisis.
MTN and Scripps Howard Foundation recognises that families facing food insecurity during the pandemic are not unique to the Helena area. Montana families are experiencing food insecurity all across the state, some for the very first time.
MTN is donating to food banks in every television market in the state, and we’re challenging everyone that calls Big Sky Country home to make a donation if they’re able. Hopefully those donations will match or surpass MTN’s.
Make your donation to Helena Food Share here with a comment that says "MTN Match."