It's almost Thanksgiving and many of us are looking forward to sitting down to a table heaped with delicious foods. While we're stuffing our faces with second or third helpings, it might be easy to forget that there are many Montanans who are going through tough times. The Montana Food Bank Networks says that 1 in 9 people in Montana struggle with hunger, including 37,000 children who live in "food insecure" homes, which they describe as:

The inability to access food in a consistent manner, resulting in reduced quality or variety of diet. While food banks and federal nutrition programs have made severe hunger and malnutrition rare in this country, millions of low-income Americans are still faced with food insecurity.

The Billings Food Bank says that demand for their services has DOUBLED since COVID-19 hit Montana. Each year they provide around 14 million pounds of food to members of our community.

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I've seen numerous posts on social media from kindhearted Billings residents who offered to give food to those in need "no questions asked." While I love their offers of generosity, I also get concerned about the safety of people delivering food to random strangers. The odds of a robbery or something else bad happening is slim, but it seems like nowadays you can't be too careful. If you would like to help out local food banks, the City of Billings offers some reputable Community Food Resource Agencies:

  • Billing Food Bank - 2112 4th Ave N
  • Family Service, Inc. - 1824 1st Avenue N
  • Friendship House - 3123 8th Avenue S
  • Montana Rescue Mission, Mens Shelter - 2822 Minnesota Ave
  • Montana Rescue Mission, Women's and Family Shelter - 2520 1st Ave N
  • Salvation Army - 2100 6th Ave N

All of these services help feed thousands of people each year and they can really use your donation dollars. We might think about hunger at Thanksgiving time, but it doesn't go away when the Black Friday sales start. Most local churches offer food pantries as well, and Alberstons stores are currently giving you an easy option to donate money for food banks when checking out.

Donate new or gently used coats and blankets now with Operation Warm and you could win a new washer and dryer from Fred's Appliance, courtesy of Norpac, #1 for Heating and Cooling. 

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