HELENA, Mont. – In the spirit of giving this holiday season, the Helena Food Share is providing local families with meals this Christmas. The non-profit organization handed out more than 650 Christmas meals during its curbside distribution on Monday, Dec. 20.
Food Share staff and volunteers loaded family boxes filled with turkey, fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and more, wheeling them directly to the vehicles of community members. Helena Food Share staff estimated another 100 meals would be delivered before the holiday weekend.
“Our volunteers, that’s what makes it happen,” said Food Share Program Operations Director Kim Dale. “There are volunteer opportunities for regular shifts and opportunities for groups; they vary from time to time, but those interested can email [email protected], or they can get on our webpage and there’s a volunteer option.
“We also do food drives in the springtime at grocery stores, the Symphony Under the Stars — those are some of our other major volunteer opportunities. We’re always appreciative of our volunteers.”
Helena Food Share thanked the numerous organizations, schools, and individuals who provided donations, including food drives and monetary contributions.
“It takes a whole community to make our programs possible,” reads the Helena Food Share website, “so every dollar you give, every can of food you donate, and every hour of volunteer time you commit to makes a difference for our friends and neighbors who need to visit our pantry.”
Helena Food Share was founded in 1987 and operates on a vision of “creating a hunger-free community.” According to its website, one in seven Helena residents struggles with hunger, including one in five children. Helena Food Share, through generous donations from the Helena community:
- provides emergency food for 1,500 local families each month,
- serves nearly 1,100 elementary school students every week with the Kid Packs program,
- distributes nearly 6,000 pounds of food to local families in need each day,
- gives 1,200 volunteer hours to make the pantry’s programs possible each month,
- and keeps the pantry doors open so local families are served with dignity and respect to give them hope.
The Secretary of State’s Office joined other community members in volunteering during Monday’s Christmas meal distribution. Volunteers served in a variety of roles, including greeters and traffic directors, turkey wranglers, and cart runners.
“The staff at Helena Food Share is a magnificent group, assisting Montanans during a time of need,” said Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen. “The giving spirit of Food Share staff was contagious, and we enjoyed volunteering to support our neighbors through this great cause. It was rewarding to see the smiles and hear the gratitude from local families, friends, and neighbors.”
“Thank you, Helena Food Share, for the positive impact you have on our community,” added Secretary Jacobsen. “On behalf of the Secretary of State’s Office, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Montana!”
Helena Food Share will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 24 and Dec. 30. Updated hours and locations can be found on the Food Share website or by calling (406) 443-3663 or emailing [email protected].