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GFPS teams with Great Falls Community Food Bank to fight food insecurity

Lori O’Dell, counselor at North Middle School
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-24 14:08:28-05

Great Falls Public Schools, in partnership with the Great Falls Community Food Bank, serves more than 20 food pantries across the district.

North Middle School, as well as the other schools’ food pantries, is asking for volunteers and/or donations to better serve their families in need.

“Here at North, I serve 30 families every week that get a food box and we always put the necessities in there, the eggs, the milk, the bread, the cereals, we always do a meet, always make sure there's dinner available; if they need extra stuff, we support them with that, too,” said Lori O’Dell, counselor at North Middle School.

O’Dell said they are grateful for the support they receive from their families and throughout the community.

“Within 20 minutes we had five people step up and say, ‘what do you guys need? Can we help you? What are you looking for?’ and so we're reaching out to them and hopefully filling a few more spots,” O’Dell said.

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation is a non-profit organization, dedicated to serving all students throughout the district and meeting their needs.

“We had donors coming to us and learning about food insecurity within the school district, and they wanted to see if they could contribute to a solution, and so The Foundation was kind of ushered into that space because donors wanted to contribute and to make an impact in this area,” said Stephanie Becker, executive director for GFPS Foundation.

GFPS Foundation accepts monetary donations through their website, in-person at their office, or by mail; click here for details.

“Donations come to us and then they're put towards food pantries throughout the district,” Becker said. “We partner really closely with Great Falls Community Food Bank; they're able to acquire really deep discounts on the food that they use to stock their shelves and that food is then available to volunteers at the food pantries to stock their shelves for the kids that they serve in their schools.”