Food bank asks for assistance in providing holiday meals

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We can make this holiday bright for those who could use some help.

No one can thrive when they are hungry and paying attention to an empty stomach. The North Valley Food Bank recognizes this and it is our mission to obtain food to distribute to those who may not know where their next meal is coming from. At Thanksgiving 2017, the food bank distributed 192 sacks and boxes of food in Whitefish. Everyone that asked for turkey at the food bank this Thanksgiving received one thanks to the generosity of individual donors and the donations from the local Safeway and Super 1 stores.

At Christmas we are expecting over 200 households to pick up groceries and again we rely on the kindness and generosity of others, including the incredible group of over 80 volunteers who give freely of their time to help alleviate the hunger in our community.

Who comes to the food bank and how often do they come? All sorts of people in all sorts of circumstances rely on the food bank for a portion of their food budget. About 30 percent of the individuals who utilize the food bank will only use it once or for a short period of time while they get on their feet during a job transition, illness, or other event that has drained their finances. Other households living on limited income come to the food bank once a week and again this makes up about 30 percent of those we serve. The weekly groceries we supply are enough for about three days of food, though it may not be three meals a day. Another 30 percent of the households come to the food bank once a month and about 10 percent come only come during the holidays. The home budget is stretched to the max in a low income household during the holidays with more mouths to feed home from school, visiting relations, and the strain on a tight household budget to purchase a gift if they are able. The food bank sees an increase in the number of households we serve starting in October and through the winter.

At the food bank we will always need your help. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, please think of those who may not know where their holiday meal is coming from.

As a community, we can make this holiday bright for those who could some help. This holiday season, will you help us provide holiday meals for 200 households? We are relying on the local stores for a large portion. Safeway donated 68 turkeys and a ton of potatoes, gravy and stuffing. Super 1 donates $6,000 dollars per year on average in gift certificates that accrue from the sale of food bank grocery bags all year long. Individuals donate thousands of dollars and tons of pounds in food and if you are in the fifth grade, you donated thousands of pounds of coins! It is all needed and it all helps.

Whitefish is a thriving community and one of the best things about our town is that we help each other. This Christmas season the food bank is asking the community to keep those in need in the forefront of our minds. Thank you for all the help and for the compassion without judgment.

SueAnn Grogan King is the executive director of the North Valley Food Bank.

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