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Great Falls food bank & First Interstate Bank prep for GFPS food drive

Shaun Tatarka
Posted at 5:26 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 19:58:08-04

On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the Great Falls Community Food Bank will partner with First Interstate Bank to provide food to children and families within Great Falls Public Schools.

“They do it every September, and we’re really grateful, the schools are really grateful,” said Shaun Tatarka, the director of the food bank. “School’s opening back up, and this is the time of the year where hunger pokes up its ugly head.”

As we shift into colder weather and holiday seasons, bringing food to the table can be an increased challenge. Without proper nutrition, young folks especially can struggle.

“We make sure the kids are fed,” said Lee Houle, the Homeless Liason director at Paris Gibson Education Center. “It’s hard to learn when you’re hungry, it affects your brain, it affects your emotions.”

First Interstate Bank will shut down all of Wednesday, and volunteers will shop at all of the major grocery outlets in town, stocking up on canned goods and other foodstuffs.

The goods will then be used to stock the food pantries within the public schools.

The donations help to lessen the budget constraints of not only families, but the schools as well

“There are so many needs out there, and there’s so many places the money has to go that it’s less of a strain on our budget if we get help from the community. This food will help the families we serve,” says Houle.

For Tatarka, these drives are the best part of the job.

“It’s just extremely rewarding, not only to be able to help people, and give a heads up to those that are really struggling, but it’s also really moving to see the amount of donations and the generosity from people, I’m extremely fortunate to be able to facilitate that."