GREAT FALLS — This past month, the Great Falls Community Food Bank distributed nearly 75,000 pounds of food to various organizations. Executive Director of the Great Falls Community Food Bank, Shaun Tatarka, said that’s more than they’ve ever donated during April in past years.
“We took in more than any other April in our history and possibly more than any other month at any time,” Tatarka said. That’s atypical for the food bank during this time of year, since donations tend to drop off during the warmer months.
“I mean spring and summer normally they're kind of the times that people sort of forget about the food bank. They’re outside playing and enjoying the weather and whatnot but this year obviously is unlike any other year in so many different ways,” Tatarka said.
Compounded with coronavirus concerns, the food bank was worried they’d be hit especially hard. “The hoarding really did put a fear into us for a while,” Tatarka said.
Tatarka believes their increase in donations derived from the Great Falls community’s increase in empathy. “I think it’s pretty relatable even for those of us who’ve never gone hungry a day in our lives. I think still we can kind of imagine what it would be like to be hungry, and I think Great Falls is a very generous community and we look out for each other,” Tatarka said.
While the community’s support has sustained them through these times, Tatarka is wary of what the future may bring. “I am worried a little bit about the future...we don’t know how long this will last,” Tatarka said.
If the community feels inclined to donate, they can drop off goods outside the Great Falls Community Food Bank in a large brown no-contact drop box outside the building at 1620 12th Avenue North.
Donors can bring any nonperishable item (even those that have recently expired). The food bank is also in need of the following items: pasta sauce, any kind of canned tomatoes, chili, peanut butter, breakfast cereal, and tomato soup.
If you'd like to donate or get more information, click here to visit the website, or call them at 406-452-9029; they are located at 1620 12th Avenue North.