Friday, February 03, 2023

Town Pump challenge helps Polson food pantry

by Mary Martin
| October 6, 2022 12:00 AM

It has been an incredible two and a half years. Thanks to the dedication and flexibility of our volunteers, the Polson Loaves & Fish Pantry, Inc. was able to stay open throughout the pandemic. The support from our community and outside our community has been constant and generous. We all thank you.

The past months have brought new challenges. As prices on everything have risen, more and more of our neighbors are needing help. This summer our storage room looked like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, due to supply chain issues. This has eased considerably as we have been able to purchase more shelf stable food from Montana Food Bank Network at wholesale prices. Perishable foods such as bread, eggs, and margarine we buy locally. Our bills are higher, but we are able to get foods to distribute. We would also like to thank all our local growers as they have contributed a lot of fresh produce and fruit for distribution.

With 1 in 9 Montanans (1in 6 children) experiencing food insecurity the Town Pump is ready to roll up their sleeves and work with us to raise the needed funds. This year marks 21 years since the Town Pump Charitable Foundation began the annual campaign to raise funds for Montana food banks. Our pantry alone served 722 households from Sept 1, 2021 – Sept 1, 2022, of those we served 1,971 Household Members, and of those, 707 were first time clients. Just to give you an idea of the age range we serve, 1,039 Adults, 249 Seniors, and 683 children.

Town Pump Charitable Foundation “Be a Friend in Deed, Help those In Need” campaign started September 1st and runs through November 30th. The Town Pump team has set a goal this year of collecting $500,000 in donations statewide for their food bank partners. This year Town Pump is working with 107 food bank partners who are each given a goal. This year our goal is $15,000 that they will match. We depend on this campaign, grants, and other donations for all of our funding through the year. Our pantry is totally staffed by volunteers, but we have the usual power, water, gas, and insurance bills like everyone. You help us keep our doors open.

We can still use you paper egg cartons, and grocery store bags, both plastic and paper. Thank you so much for your wonderful support of the Pantry and our neighbors!

Mary Martin is Operations Manager for Polson Loaves & Fish Pantry, Inc.

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