Flathead Food Bank (FFB) and all local food providers are working at maximum capacity to respond to rapidly increasing demands for essential food supplies, due to COVID-19 related school and business closures and job loss. Some examples: FFB's curbside pickup is serving 600 households per week; weekend food backpacks for children have doubled, and FFB delivered fresh and shelf stable food to 225 senior apartments in one day. Flathead Food Bank also serves as a distribution center for communities as far away as Libby, Eureka and Browning. Donations of food items are always welcomed; however, financial donations have the most impact given FFB's very strong purchasing power which can provide a meal for just 60 cents.
Our project budget will immediately provide important financial support for Flathead Food Bank. If we are fully funded at $5,000 this translates into 8,300 meals provided to individuals and families in need.
When public health and safety permits, Rotarians will again volunteer where needed in the food bank warehouse, packing food bags for households and backpacks for children, and making deliveries to food distribution locations such as area schools.
RC Kalispell will continue its efforts to raise awareness and support with another public awareness campaign (August-September) about food insecurity in the Flathead, the vital work of area food banks, and the needs they are addressing during this pandemic and every day. We will partner with FFB and other Flathead area food banks, our school districts, local media, and public health experts to accomplish these goals.
By providing funds to supply food for 8,333 meals, our project will immediately benefit children and adults in our community who depend in increasing numbers on local food banks and food programs for essential nutrition. This project will also contribute to a safer, healthier, and even more collaborative community as we work together to address food needs due to the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing challenge of food insecurity in the Flathead.